Siarhei Balykin: Sole traders will go into shadows
8:56, — Society
Sole traders prepare for another stage of struggling for living.
The game rules are going to worsen for many, but market traders don't regard Lukashenka's decree as the end of the world.
Decree No. 222, which Lukashenka signed on May 16, obliges sole traders to have documents confirming the purchase of all goods they sell, also those imported from the Customs Union. The goods imported to Belarus until July 1, 2014, without supporting documents can be sold until March 1, 2015. Traders must make lists of such goods and send them to the tax agency by July 30.
Yezhednevnik asks Siarhei Balykin, the chairman of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Business, to express his opinion on the new conditions.
“It's worth noting that market traders include both sole traders and legal persons,” he says. “The decree won't hit legal persons. There are certain categories of sole traders, who can find the decree useful. These are sole traders working in the service, transport and construction sectors and so on. Under the decree, they will be allowed to employ three people. Of course, the document will negatively impact retail traders. But many of them had to have supporting documents before.
It's an old requirement that fur sellers must have such documents, but many didn't have them. For example, the Minsk Economic Court ruled on May 12 to forfeit fur coats of a total cost of 800 million rubles to the state. Fur coats were sold withouts documents. Sellers did it before, and they continue doing it after July 1. However, the decree will make the work of sole traders more difficult. It's most likely that sole traders will go into the shadows and work with 'black' and 'gray' schemes. It will continue until people stop buying goods at markets. Large chain stores will squeeze market traders out of the market. Small business will have to find the niches, which don't interest big companies, and work in the service sector more actively.
July 1 won't be an apocalypse for sole traders. They will get used to the new rules and survive. I don't think any large strikes of market traders are possible in Belarus. At the same time, I think small business won't be able to return the old rules of the game.”
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