Ramanchuk Promises 1 Million New Jobs and Wages at $600
The United Civil Party announced that the UCP deputy chairman, famous economist Jaraslau Ramanchuk will be its candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. On Monday he presented his campaign platform "A Million New Jobs for Belarus".
The party chairman Anatol Lyabedzka will also actively participate in the elections and in case of victory of the UCP will take the post of prime minister. Journalists have already dubbed this union as the Belarusian version of the tandem "Putin-Medvedev".
Anatol Lyabedzka, who was considered the main contender from the party for the presidency, said that the decision was first made by him. "If we look at those people who declared their intention to be nominated, they are all very similar. They are all involved in politics. And if I participated in the elections, too, I would be one of them. But today, by offering a new candidate, we try to win the votes of those who support neither the opposition nor Lukashenka. (And this is up to 50% of the electorate.) That is why we decided to nominate Jaraslau Ramanchuk. And I will go in tandem with him", said A. Lyabedzka.
The politician stressed that the UCP as a "responsible power" is ready to continue the talks on nomination of a single opposition presidential candidate. And the first step in this direction would be to choose a single candidate from the centre-right forces, which include also the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party, the BPF Party, and the movement "For Freedom".
In case the opposition forces fail to choose a single candidate, Anatol Lyabedzka invited all opposition contenders to develop at least a common strategy of actions during the elections.
Jaraslau Ramanchuk focuses mainly on economic issues. The economic platform he presented is designed for three years. After this period, market reforms will be held, the political system will be changed, the separation of powers will be restored, the freedom of speech will be ensured, and human rights will be respected in Belarus.
The economic outcome of the platform implementation should be creation of a million jobs and wages at $600 by 2013.
Jaraslau Ramanchuk mentions four sources of creation of new jobs:
"The first source is individual entrepreneurs. In our country, nearly 225 thousand of them are registered. The potential of this economic group in the labour market is very big. Implementing the right of entrepreneurs to freely hire workers, reducing the single tax rate three times, introducing licences, reducing rental rates for spaces that belong to state governing bodies three times, and lessening the administrative burden at least by half will essentially liberate entrepreneurs. In two years, they will, according to estimations, create about 300 thousand new jobs. These jobs will be taken by both the young and the workers fired from state enterprises. Entrepreneurs will create new jobs mainly in the sphere of commerce and public catering, consumer services, transportation, vehicle maintenance, hotel and roadside services.
The second source is small businesses. As of the middle of 2010, about 81 thousand small businesses work in Belarus. When complex measures are taken on modernisation of the business environment, de-monopolisation of the domestic market, reduction of tax burden by at least 40%, reduction of the administrative burden from 15% of revenues today to 5 – 7%, liberalisation of prices, and carrying out amnesty of incomes, the small private business will create around 400 thousand new jobs in three years. The jobs will be taken by redundant workers of local state enterprises, the youth, and labour migrants from other regions and towns of Belarus. Small business of the country will realise its potential in the sector of services, agriculture, industry, including processing, textile and woodworking industries, in software development, and in the infrastructure of education, health care and recreation.
The third source is foreign investors, including transnational corporations (TNCs). Today, their potential in Belarus is very limited. Even already operating foreign enterprises and commercial organisations with foreign capital could substantially increase the number of jobs. If large-scale privatisation is conducted, a full-fledged market of land is created, the independence of the judiciary power is ensured, legal guarantees of property rights are established, the economy is de-bureaucratised and de-monopolised, current and capital accounts are liberalised, the basic market rules and EU standards for goods and services are adopted, and a free trade zone with Russia, Ukraine and the European Union is created, foreign direct investment will increase from $250 per capita in 2009 up to $1300 (the level of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Kazakhstan). In three years, foreign investors and enterprises with foreign capital in Belarus will create at least 200 thousand jobs. The jobs will be taken by the dismissed employees of state enterprises, laid-off state employees, graduates, entrepreneurs, and laid-off officers of defence and law enforcement agencies. New jobs will be created mostly in industry, the services sector, and transport. Foreign capital will create a great number of jobs in the financial sector, industrial and infrastructure sectors.
The fourth source is large and medium state enterprises that are restructured, modernised, and partially or fully privatised. After detoxication of assets, elimination of the "dead" capital, optimisation of the number of old jobs, attraction of foreign or Belarusian partners, and adaptation of the strategy to post-crisis demand, these enterprises will be able to create 100 thousand new jobs in three years."
According to Mr. Ramanchuk, implementation of the Programme demands the reduction of the tax burden from 45% to 30% and the reduction of the administrative and bureaucratic burden in half, from about 15% to 7% of revenue. Thus, $7-8 billion will remain in the hands of individual entrepreneurs, private and public business. This money will be a major source of investment in the modernisation of the Belarusian economy.
Jaraslau Ramanchuk was born January 10, 1966 in the urban village Sapotskin of Horadnia region.
He graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University and the graduate school of the National Institute for Higher Education at Belarusian State University (Department of Economic Studies).
In 1990 – 1997 he worked as a teacher, journalist, director of an enterprise, and analyst. Head of the commission on economic policy and reforms in the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus of the 13th convocation.
In 1997 – 2002 – an economic observer, then deputy editor and executive director of the weekly "Belaruskaya gazeta".
Since February 2002 – the head of the Mises Research Centre under the Analytical Centre "Strategy".
Since April 2000 – the deputy chairman of the UCP, in charge of international relations, the formulation of economic programmes and bills. The author of the alternative bill on the budget, tax system, of the concept of pension and administrative reforms, the bills on privatisation, military reform, and the health system reform.
Author of numerous articles and books on economic issues, one of the developers of the Anti-Crisis Platform of the United Democratic Forces.
An acknowledged expert in the field of systemic socio-economic transformations, European integration, and cooperation of states of the post-socialist zone. The author of the concept of Belarus’ integration into the EU, as well as of partnership between Belarus and Russia.
Member of the International Society for Individual Liberty, the winner of numerous international awards, including the annual award of ISIL in 2003, Sir Anthony Fisher Award 2006 and the Templeton Prize 2006 and 2007 for his books "Belarus: Choosing Economic Future" and "Business in Belarus. In Circle One".
Since January 2009 – a member of the Interagency Working Group under the Council of Ministers, which is developing an action plan for the development of country marketing in Belarus.