MINSK, 29 November (BelTA) – An absolute majority of the social and economic development forecast targets have not been hit in 2013. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he heard out a report from the government and the National Bank on 29 November, BelTA has learned. The report covered the operation of the Belarus economy so far this year, assessed this year’s achievements, and presented the draft social and economic development forecast, the draft state budget, and the draft major monetary management guidelines for 2014.
“An absolute majority of forecast parameters have been failed. But we should look beyond that. We should uncover reasons behind the failures and the problems that slow down the country’s development,” stressed the President.
Alexander Lukashenko reminded that following government proposals the GDP target for 2013 had been set at 8.5%. “Now we can expect only 1.5% and getting even that may be a problem,” said the head of state.
“You were trying to convince me that volumes were not needed. Instead the government promised high quality and balanced development of the economy. I heard you back then and didn’t pull anyone and didn’t put pressure on anyone regarding the volume parameters during the year. And what do I get in the end? Nothing of the two I am told,” remarked the President.
“You promised to balance the foreign trade in commodities and services. We have achieved a foreign trade deficit instead of a surplus,” said the head of state. “You were eager to keep inflation as low as 12%. In reality people are still tense about rising prices. In January-October 2013 inflation reached the figure we planned to secure at the end of the year”.
The President reminded that a lot had been said about the fulfillment of economy modernization plans. “You set out to raise earnings per worker to at least $48,000 this year and to $60,000 by 2015,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “At present according to the most optimistic evaluations earnings per worker in 2013 can be only $43,000. You have definitely failed to achieve your goals”.
“Since a lot is said about modernization, particularly by those frauds, political opponents, I would like to note that we are not going to get $50,000 or even $60,000 per worker without modernization,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko. “We cannot achieve sales and revenues using outdated equipment, with mess in production facilities and mess in heads of workers. We need new breakthrough technologies and a modernized economy in order to get a product and sell it on international markets, which are demanding these days”. “We came to the conclusion a long time ago, but back then we were not ready for it. Back then we paid much attention to the agriculture and it was the right thing to do. Those, who don’t care about agriculture in the post-Soviet space and in the so-called socialist camp, lead a life of misery and pick up crumbs from the table of the rich European Union nations,” added the President. Alexander Lukashenko stressed that modernization or, simply speaking, better manufacturing is a matter of survival of the state.
The President remarked that forecast parameters in other areas had not been secured either.
“Your own promises and direct instructions of the head of state do not get fulfilled. And the trend can be registered during the entire work of the present composition of the government,” stressed the President.