Updated at 00:16,23-05-2018

Lukashenka directs that 2012 GDP growth target be set at five to 5.5 percent


Alyaksandr Lukashenka directed Tuesday that Belarus’ major financial documents for 2012 be based on a GDP growth forecast at five to 5.5 percent.

The Belarusian leader made the order at a government conference held on November 22 to discuss draft Social and Economic Development Forecast for 2012 and the 2012 State Budget Estimates and the draft 2012 Monetary Policy Guidelines, BelaPAN said.

He said that the drafts should be revised to reflect the GDP growth forecast and submitted to him for approval by mid-December, according to the presidential press office.

"The prime minister knows my demands," he said. "So, go and make calculations. For those who disagree or cannot do this, we will find another job. But after I sign these documents, everybody must start running about the country and keep saying that they are realistic, they are good, we should go ahead and mobilize ourselves. There must be no idle talk with the media. God forbid that the contrary is reported to me."

Mr. Lukashenka stressed that setting the 2012 GDP growth target at a lower level was unacceptable. "The economy would then produce a different result. Should we put the brakes on the economy?"

He emphasized the need to give a boost to a national import substitution strategy, which he suggested would help the country save foreign currency.

"Everybody should work hard next year, instead of trying to create favorable conditions for themselves," said the Belarusian leader.

He said that companies should reduce profit margins to avoid putting extreme strain on the population. "Now it turns out that a milker, who milks a cow and sells the milk, goes to a store only to find out that she does not have the money to buy one liter of milk for her family," he said.

"We are not putting pressure on businesses. But one should keep in mind that if times are hard they should be such for everybody, and if they are good they should be such for everybody as well," added the Belarusian leader.