The local authorities blackmail a successful businessman.
In 2011, the Slutsk district executive committee gave the research and production unitary company ANVI two buildings on the outskirts of the town for temporary use. The buildings were earlier used as a polyclinic and a psychical therapy department.
Under the agreement, the buildings can be used temporarily without charge for the investment project “Opening a research and production centre to develop and promote environmental and energy saving technologies, produce equipment and consumables”.
The document says the premises will be transferred into the ownership of the company if it fulfills all conditions of the agreement. The agreement expired on December 1, 2013, but the Slutsk district executive committee didn't transfer the premises into the company's ownership.
The buildings of the former hospital are now used to produce import-substituting products
Uladzimir Yaudonka, ANVI's director, says he may lose one building on the decision of the local authorities, though he fulfilled all conditions of the agreement,
ANVI produces anti-scale agents for gas boilers and washing machines to substitute imported analogues.
“More than 80 boiler stations use our technology. We entered the Russian market with our liquid agents to clean heating systems,” Uladzimir Yaudonka says. “How many researchers do we have? None. I employ them on a contract basis.
The company brings profit. We make import-substituting and energy saving products. One millimetre of scale in a boiler increases the consumption of fuel by 7-10%.”
The company's director submitted a report on implementation of the investment project to the Slutsk district executive committee.
“A commission arrived in five cars the next day. They made oral critical remarks. We rectified defects and handed in a new report on November 25 asking to receive the premises into ownership under the agreement. A deputy head of the Committee sent us a reply saying the company hadn't submitted the amended investment project to the Committee for approval. Do you know what they mean under the amendments? They offer us to make a new project, because we used only one of two buildings! We will lose the second building if don't re-write the project.”
The district executive committee doesn't explain the reason for such a decision, according to Uladzimir Yaudonka. The businessman took the situation close to heart.
“I've faced problems with heart. Doctors wanted to take me to hospital, but there's no places in the cardiology department. I took a sick leave.”
ANVI continues to work, though not at full capacity.
“Some employees understood the authorities were going to close the company, so they took unpaid leaves. We suffer losses while the district executive committee makes its decision. We cannot fulfill our contractual commitments to sell products in Belarus and Russia. They took the building from us in fact.
The district executive committee even calls the firms we work with and asks if we owe something to them.
I am sure the fewer people will work in controlling bodies, the better the country will live. There's no chairman of the executive committee in the Slutsk district for six months, but the district continues to work,” the investor says.