Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Lukashenka lashes out at government for Belarus poor economic performance

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has lashed out at the Council of Ministers and the National Bank of Belarus (NBB) for the countrys poorer-than-expected economic performance in the first six months of this year.

Belarus 2010 economic activity was under discussion at a high-level government conference held on Friday.

A number of problems putting the brakes on "dynamic social and economic development" have not been settled, the Belarusian leader said.

Growth targets for industrial output, agricultural production, fixed capital expenditures and other important activities were not met, which affected the growth of GDP that increased only by seven percent in the period with the target initially set for 11 to 13 percent, he said.

Mr. Lukashenka also criticized the government for low levels of foreign direct investment, the poor diversification of exports and swollen imports that exceeded exports by $2.4 billion in the countrys foreign trade in goods and services in the first half of 2010.

Mr. Lukashenka emphasized the importance of ensuring the countrys sustainable economic growth, noting that the government had pledged it to the population and would have to report the progress back.

A key priority is to devise measures to make the Belarusian economy competitive with the help of innovative development, he said.