Alyaksandr Lukashenka reiterated on Tuesday that the number of government employees would be reduced by between 25 and 30 percent.
"I hesitated for a long time but made a decision that we'd reduce the staff of government agencies by between 25 and 30 percent,"Mr. Lukashenka said during a government meeting on measures to increase management efficiency in the country’s agricultural sector. "We simply don't need it. Why do we watch over this harvesting campaign too much? Let governors or, rather, the heads of the district executive committees with managers of companies attend to the harvesting. However, if they fail and squander money invested in land, they should be put into prison."
Mr. Lukashenka noted that forthcoming staff reduction would result in much broader powers for government officials and reduce staff turnover.
He added that the reform was necessary to raise pay for public servants. "We will never recruit a competent expert unless we pay him properly," he said. "However, we cannot raise pay without staff reduction, people wouldn't understand us."
Mr. Lukashenka announced on Monday that he had set up a commission that would generate proposals for reforming government agencies. While meeting with Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich, he 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.