PM: Profitability of Belarusian agricultural sector down by halfMINSK, 12 November (BelTA) - Regional executive committees should take immediate steps to improve the financial health of the agricultural industry, Belarus’ Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said in a meeting of the Council of Ministers, BelTA learned. The Premier gave the local authorities one month to implement this instruction. Vice Premier Mikhail Rusyi has been put in charge.
According to the head of government the economy of the agricultural industry was bad in January-September 2013. The profitability of the domestic agricultural sector decreased by half compared to the same period in 2012. The worst cases are Vitebsk (down almost 3 times) and Minsk (2.2 times). "The overdue accounts have been rapidly increasing. In Vitebsk Oblast they went up by 64%, in Grodno by 49%, and in Brest by 44%,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said. Addressing the heads of the regional executive committees, the Prime Minister stressed the need to intensify efforts to resolve the issue: "If you do not solve the problem now, then the situation will only grow worse,” he added.
By the end of the year a total of Br8.1 trillion will be allocated as budget subsidies and loans to finance the programs and the needs of the agricultural industry, according to the Prime Minister. First of all, these funds should be spent on the completion of the construction of dairy farms and on purchasing productive livestock. "Unfortunately, dairy farming has nto yielded considerable results," said the head of government. The government invested already Br5.2 trillion last year and this year. Yet milk production continues to fall in Vitebsk Oblast (94.3% as against last year), in Minsk Oblast (98.4%), and Mogilev Oblast (98.7%),” Mikhail Myasnikovich said. The output has increased only in the Brest and Grodno regions.
Reconstruction of the flax industry remains a priority. "Equipment has been purchased for five plants. General construction works should be finished by 1 January, as promised to the President. I think that Gomel will be first to complete this task. Other regions need to get this task done too,” said the head of government.