Uladzimir Dzernavy, chief of the economy ministry’s Main Department for Industry, Transport and Communications, on Friday confirmed rumors of the adoption of a government directive aimed at curbing imports.
The Agency of Financial News on Thursday posted on its website what it called a copy of the Council of Ministers’ Directive No. 1000, which requires state-owned enterprises to obtain consent from the heads or deputy heads of governmental agencies for importing goods.
When reached by BelaPAN on August 27, the cabinet’s press office declined to comment on the report. While talking to reporters the following day, Mr. Dzernavy confirmed the existence of the directive, which he said was issued for the purpose of saving the country’s foreign exchange reserves. "Exports have dropped, foreign exchange proceeds have dropped, there is not enough foreign exchange, we need to save it," he said.
The official expressed certainty that the heads of state-owned enterprises should bear responsibility for the import of equipment and materials.
Economist and legal expert Syarhey Balykin described the directive as an "unwise step" and predicted that it would lead to excessive red tape.