MINSK, March 30 (Itar-Tass) —— President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has pledged there will be no sweeping privatization in his country.
“Any enterprise might be sold, any one of them, with no exceptions. But it must be said once and for all: there is no sweeping privatization. If the state thinks it necessary privatization will have a pinpoint character,” Lukashenko said on Friday.
The problem of privatization “is not merely regulated, it has been settled through much suffering of the people,” he said. “It is in the focus of all political events because privatization is not an easy issue.”
“We have always said we are not against privatization. But there has never been and will never be sweeping privatization. It is out of the question as long as I am the president,” he stressed.
He voiced bewilderment why the government is against existing privatization procedures. “Privatization is a very uneasy process. They say it is too much bureaucratized. Yes, it is, because we sell what was created by others. That is why bargaining is appropriate,” the Belarusian leader noted.
He also said he did not share the government’s initiative to make a register of the so-called strategic companies. “Why divide enterprises into strategic and unnecessary? It is not right in respect of the people. The country needs all its enterprises, which provide jobs to people,” he noted.
He recalled that despite being listed as a strategic company Beltransgaz was in the long run sold. “It was once prohibited to privatize it. Was it privatized? Yes. So why then muddy the waters and exclude these or those companies from the list of enterprises nut subject to privatization,” he added.