The Perspektyva small business association has called on the Belarusian authorities to allow small vendors to sell at least Belarusian-made beer, saying that the measure would also be expedient amid the global economic crisis.
"We are urging you, Alyaksandr Hryhoravich [Lukashenka], the Presidential Administration, the Council of Ministers and the regional executive committees to support Perspektyva’s anti-crisis proposal to allow the retail sale of Belarusian beer at kiosks and other retail units", the association said in its Monday statement.
Perspektyva noted that the measure would increase sales of Belarus’ beer producers, which was important in the context of the crisis. "We are ready to show not only verbal but also practical solidarity with the Belarusian producers", it said.
The proposal comes after local authorities around the country decided to ban owners of street kiosks and other small retail units from selling beer and other beverages with local alcohol content. "In the context of high unemployment risks, local government officials are ready to throw into the street or even outside the country thousands of economically active Belarusians", Perspektyva stressed.
The association warned that the restrictions on the retail sale of beer would cut the regional authorities' revenues yet further, noting that they had already fallen by 25 to 40 percent in the first quarter of this year.