For the industrial giants of Belarus not to sink into debt, they will have ministers and deputies managing their effectiveness. This way of quick GDP growing has been offered by the government. Alyaksandr Papko found out who will take patronage and whether it will help to pull out the plants from the swamp.
To accelerate the growth of GDP to 4 percent per year with the help of hundreds of large enterprises — this was the proposal of Deputy Prime Minister Alyaksandr Turchin:
“We have submitted to the Presidential Administration a draft decree on a number of enterprises, whose supervisory boards should be headed by top officials, plus the top 100 joint-stock companies of our country, where we will build an effective corporate governance system.”
What companies will be supervised by the country leaders? Senior Alpari analyst Vadzim Iosub explains:
“We can talk about woodworking enterprises, oddly enough, about oil refineries, which last year began to bear losses. We can talk about the pulp and paper industry and the cement industry. ”
The list of major enterprises that have been placed under the “special control of the government” has existed for a decade and a half. There are about a hundred factories in it, which in the best years produced more than half of the country’s gross domestic product. Recently these 800 smaller enterprises were subordinated to these giants, creating 102 holdings. What will another patronage give?
“The results will be simple: they will drive, they will beat the drums, they will report. There will be heart attacks, strokes will be added to heart attacks, but everything will remain the same,” says economist Leanid Zaiko.
Previously, the authorities accelerated the economy, pumping up the flagships of engineering, construction, and collective farms with preferential loans. As a result, inflation was boosted and they got a financial crisis, after which there was no longer any funds for loans.
“To boost the effectiveness of state-owned enterprises, it is necessary to immerse them in the market environment: to give work to what can work, to let those which are not viable too die,” says Vadzim Iosub.
The idea of entrusting the factories ministers with enthusiasm did not arouse enthusiasm among the residents of Homiel surveyed by us.
“Lukashenka will take control of everything yet again — and that will be it!”
“I do not know! It is unlikely that they will work better. I want to say that if they had wages, like the workers do, they would work better!”
“People should be stimulated, conditions should be created for them, they should be interested in something — either by salary or benefits,” the residents of Homiel say.
While the government hopes that the patronage of ministers will help the enterprises, the average salary fell below a bar of 1,000 Belarusian rubles. In January, the average Belarusian earned 981 rubles, which is 459 dollars.
Alyaksandr Papko, belsat.eu