Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced Monday that the number of government employees should be reduced by between 25 and 30 percent, and that he had set up a commission that would generate proposals for reforming government agencies.
While meeting with Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich, the Belarusian leader said that the commission would be chaired by Andrey Kabyakow, head of the Presidential Administration, and Natallya Pyatkevich, a former first deputy head of the Presidential Administration who currently serves in the position of presidential aide, would be deputy chairperson of the commission.
Mr. Lukashenka pointed out that the forthcoming staff reduction would concern high-level positions to a greater extent than low-level positions.
"We should remove unnecessary functions and then significantly increase pay for government employees," he said. "I realize we will not be able to immediately succeed in this task and but should start fulfilling it. I’m talking about this because you should also know that the staff numbers of some divisions of the interior ministry should not be reduced for the purpose of increasing those of other divisions, and that there is a need to reduce our police to some extent."
However, Mr. Lukashenka pointed out that the reform should not "destabilize" the police’s performance. "It should become more efficient," he added.
"And the main thing is that we should by no means harm military servicemen," he stressed.