Lukashenko identifies key problems slowing down land amelioration in Belarus
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko identified the four key problems that slow down land amelioration during a plenary session of the national workshop on restoring and using reclaimed lands, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “According to the State Control Committee, the existing problems and shortcomings as well as mismanagement facts are repeated year after year. I will identify the key ones.”
The first problem. The head of state stated that 20 districts had shut down their own land amelioration enterprises, including five districts in Vitebsk Oblast, eight in Grodno Oblast, and seven in Mogilev Oblast. The president demanded it is necessary to determine what districts need land amelioration enterprises and what districts can do without them. But there must be order in this matter, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “Look at the areas we are going to reclaim and possibly at the areas where we may perform additional amelioration,” he said. “It may be necessary to add one or two mobile construction companies in some areas. But for now it is necessary to revive these ones and keep them busy.”
“Naturally, people started leaving. Particularly blue-collar workers. The number of workers dropped by 3,500 people or by nearly 30% over six years. We cannot do anything without people,” the president noted. He pointed out that Belarusian enterprises such as Amkodor stand ready to train people. Moreover, the relevant experience is available: Belarus trained civil engineering and mechanical engineering specialists upon Venezuela's request once.
Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying that an audit indicated that land amelioration enterprises in Novogrudok District, Slonim District, and Smorgon District could not use their machines for half a year due to the lack of operators and drivers.
It is also necessary to enable comfortable living standards in the countryside in order to attract qualified personnel, the head of state noted. It primarily applies to housing. “We've made timber cheaper. We can make it even cheaper if necessary,” he stated. “Trees perish sometimes while we don't dare give people some floorboard, skirting board or a log for the sake of housing construction. We can make it cheaper if we have to but all of it must be under control. Rented housing is necessary: we have to hand it over to the enterprise while the enterprise will rent it out to people.”
The second problem. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the level of deterioration of land amelioration machines and equipment is off the charts. Some have been left idle for 1.5 years due to repairs. “Simply unimaginable. The situation is most desperate in Vitebsk Oblast and Mogilev Oblast,” he stated.
The president reminded about his previous instructions: it is necessary to refurbish old machines and vehicles and manufacturers themselves should help agricultural enterprises repair machines and vehicles. “It is necessary to inspect all these machines and vehicles while the State Control Committee should oversee it. Heads of enterprises should be made responsible for expensive equipment idling away. We will shake up everyone and everyone will be held accountable!” the head of state warned.
The third problem. The quality of work has plummeted in the last few years, which is only natural considering the attitude to this work, the president remarked.
“They continue finding sordid examples in absolutely all parts of the country. Meanwhile, I should say that I am absolutely convinced that all the mobile construction companies know how to do their work properly. Then do it. Mobilize people. You will accomplish nothing without iron discipline and order,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. “And certainly you cannot force people to work with a fist these days. You have to pay people well and help them. People are ready to work for us in exchange for good money. But the disgusting use of reclaimed lands after their reconstruction is the height of all the mess.”
For instance, two agricultural enterprises in Postavy District let weeds grow on 60ha of reclaimed land. As much as 30ha of land was reclaimed and abandoned in Klichev District, 25ha in Klimovichi District, and 6ha in Novogrudok District.
“These are just a few of the examples. How many abandoned lands are out there? You worked hard to reclaim these lands only to abandon them later on. Someone should be held accountable for it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The fourth problem. The president also pointed out false records about work done. It is absolutely unacceptable, he noted. According to the State Control Committee, false reports “earned” Br36,500 for Ostrovets District enterprises, Br22,000 for Kobrin District enterprises, and nearly Br25,000 for Oktyabrsky District enterprises.
“If calculations were done properly, the losses would be even higher. It is stolen money. Such outrage must not be tolerated. In addition to failing to execute plans and failing to use the lands you use false reports to cover up your mismanagement. If someone is too blind to see the conditions we live in now (wartime conditions, I repeat it once again), then trust me I have enough power to bring these people to their senses,” Aleksandr Lukashenko warned. “Including the central government and the oblast administrations. I don't threaten you but in this situation people rarely understand good words and the tasks set in a calm manner. Today you and I have to decide how we can do more work, find sources of funding, and ensure retooling of the relevant enterprises. And how to toughen responsibility for what people have done or have not.”