Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Government walks away from idea of import restrictions

Belsat / BelaPAN

The government has abandoned its controversial plans to grant state-owned companies the monopolistic right to import a wide range of goods for six months, news agency BelaPAN has learnt.

After discussions the government had concluded that the planned measure was inexpedient and there were no plans to consider its introduction in the future, the industry ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier this month, the government drew up a presidential edict that would give 12 state-owned manufacturers the monopolistic right to import consumer and industrial goods between July 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015.

The companies included Minsk Bearing Plant, Homel-based agricultural equipment maker Homselmash, Minsk-based machine tool manufacturer MZOR, tyre maker Belshyna, Minsk Engine Plant, elevator maker Mahiliouliftmash, electronics company Integral, refrigerator maker Atlant, television manufacturer Horizont, Minsk Tractor Works, Minsk Automobile Plant, and Minsk Electrical Equipment Plant.

Government experts said that that the import restrictions were needed for defending the country's economic interests.

The authors of the draft edict explained that many materials and components used in the manufacture of equipment were imported at too high prices. However, economists suggested that the measure would mostly be aimed at cutting back on imports of consumer goods.