Premier criticizes local authorities over “too slow” small business development

Prime Minister Syarhey Sidorski has criticized local authorities over a “too slow” development of small business in the provinces.

“Small businesses should have yielded two percent of all local budget revenues that stay in districts,” Mr. Sidorski said at a meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 7.

“But none of the regions but the Brest region is anywhere near the figure. The creation of new businesses in small towns has accounted for only 0.6 to 0.8 percent of all local budget revenues,” the cabinet’s press office quoted him as saying.

The premier accused local government officials of not doing enough to promote small business. “You must know the people who want to start a business, that’s why you must ensure that they work,” he said.

Speaking about general economic trends, Mr. Sidorski acknowledged that Belarusian exporters faced shrinking sales. “Their partners lack the money to pay for our exports,” he said.

Mr. Sidorski noted that the government had adopted a plan of measures to address the impact of the global crisis, offered aid to key enterprises and supported the banking system. Infrastructure and business development programs have not been put on hold, he stressed.

Mr. Sidorski urged the heads of the regional executive committees to take more steps to create a more favorable business environment. //BelaPAN