Barys Zhaliba: Authorities look for money amid potash war
14:36, — Economics
Belarusian goods cannot become competitive in the market only at request of officials.
Economist Barys Zhaliba spoke to charter97.org about the minister of trade's appeal to hypermarkets to sell more Belarusian goods.
“The requirement that lists of goods must include mainly Belarusian goods appeared long ago. The popular slogan 'Buy Belarusian' is just an instrument of economic propaganda. What we really need is to make Belarusian products able to meet competition with imported analogues. For this purpose upgrading and real modernisation are needed. We need reorganisation and transition to market economy. As we can see, we don't have effects so far,” the expert noted.
The economist stressed that the Belarusian authorities resorted to extreme measures.
“Lukashenka said everyone would have to pay 100 dollars to go abroad. He often sent up trial balloons to see people's reaction. But in today's situation the authorities decided to impose the shopping duty. It is an unprecedented measure that doesn't exist anywhere in the world. It means that the appeal to buy Belarusians failed. The budget is falling apart at the seams, the country has no foreign currency but has debts which are bigger in the second half of the year than in the first one. We have a potash war and the authorities are looking for sources to fill the budget gap. It's clear that extorting money from people is the easiest way. Belarus's command economy is in permanent crisis. It is on the verge of another acute phase. It is perfectly demonstrated by Ladutska's remark about Belarusian chocolate and other things,” Barys Zhaliba said.
We remind that Belarusian minister of trade Valiantsin Chakanau urged hypermarkets to sell more Belarusian goods.