Updated at 16:42,06-12-2016

Minsk Regional Government Lifts Ban on Beer Sales at Public Transport Stops

The Minsk Regional Executive Committee has lifted its ban on retail sales of beer and other beverages with a low alcohol content at public transport stops.

The regional government issued a directive to this effect on May 11, but it has not yet taken effect.

The directive restricts the sales to retail outlets with a trading floor.

Anatol Shumchanka, leader of the Perspektyva small business association that had pushed for the removal of the ban, told BelaPAN that sole entrepreneurs running kiosks would have to redesign their facilities, which would require "additional time and funds."

"All these experiments have shattered the financial circumstances of small vendors," he said. "But still, this is a good decision for businesses. They will have at least an opportunity to improve their circumstances."

Mr. Shumchanka said that he expected other local authorities to follow suit. "The decision of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee creates a precedent," he said.
The ban was introduced in the Minsk region on August 17, 2009.

Mr. Shumchanka suggested that numerous appeals filed by small business activists against the ban, dwindling sales of domestically made beer and lower tax payments prompted the regional government to lift the ban.

"We are set to prepare appeals to other regional authorities to follow the attractive example of the Minsk region," Mr. Shumchanka said.