Updated at 11:25,18-04-2018

Officials rush to buy new vehicles before Eur25K limit deadline


Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on the regulation of the acquisition of official cars, according to which government agencies can't buy cars more expensive than 25,000 euros.

Civil servants in Belarus have one month only to purchase new official cars before the Euro 25.000 limit comes into force.

One of the latest auctions invites bids for a Toyota Camry for the management of Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park in Smaliavichy. The cost is Br370 mln (approx. Eur33.000)! Less than one year old and with investors yet to be known, the park requires official cars! When asked by Euroradio whether they are aware of president's new edict on new cars for officials, respondents at the park get nervous:

"We know about the president's decree. But there is still one month to go! We have already given comments on this issue! This is our second auction."

They should be nervous, indeed. Only one month remains before the president's decree comes into force, and yet the vehicle on tender is more than Br100 mlin over the Eur 25.000 limit. They need to hurry up!

The scientific and practical center at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus is in a hurry, too. Initially, officials here wanted a new vehicle to monitor the field works - an off-road jeep worth Br 480 mln (approx. Euro43.000)! But they removed the lot one hour later.

Interestingly, every official is aware about the president's decree.

"The decree about Euro25.000? Yesterday we read the news accidentally in the internet, but have not seen the edict yet. It is kind of vague that it allegedly applies to the head of enterprises, perhaps to the chairpesons of collective farms," say Euroradio's 'old friends' in Niasvizh where they recently had to cancel the purchase of the official car for almost $68.000.

They are not to buy a new car for the head of district executive committee:

"We don't really know when, but we will consider options up to Eur25.000."

Staffers at Yelsk district executive committee where the scandal with posh cars for civil servants actually began, know about the limitations from TV broadcasts:

"You think we don't watch TV? We are not going to buy anything yet. You think we just need this car by any means? No way!" Before the scandal, they were telling Euroradio "the chairman's vehicle was falling apart!"

The president's decree liits officials to Eur 25.000 including customs duties. Most of the vehicles desired by officials so far do not fit into this category: Br600 mln (Eur53.000) for a VW Touareg in Yelsk, a Nissan for Br450 mln (Eur40.000) in Niasvizh, Toyota and Shkoda so popular with civil servants to buy with tax-payer money. A staffer from the regional executive committee in Homel told Euroradio about some special decree by the president that recommended buying solid car makes only.

They note at Toyta Center Minsk that brand-new vehicles can be bought for Eur25.000 including customs duties, taxes and delivery fees.

"These will be the middle- or business-class vehicles. Toyota Corolla, even — we can offer several configurations."

Volkswagen can offer Passat, Touran і Tiguan - just fitting the limit. Aparently, officials will have to forget about luxurious cars and start driving mainstream vehicles. But with one month left, hurry up, civil servants!