The nationalization of confectionery industry will deteorate investment climate in the country
Aliaksandr Lukashenka on Friday ordered the head of the Belarusian State Food Industry Concern (Beldzyarzhkharchpram) and the directors of leading candy makers Spartak and Kamunarka to leave their positions.
Speaking at a government conference in Minsk, the Belarusian leader stressed that the government must regain control of the enterprises.
“The problem of the enterprises that were once privatized, given away and so on must be solved within October. All of them must be state-owned enterprises. The state must have a controlling stake in them and manage them directly. Dividends must be paid only when there’s too much ‘fat’,”the presidential press office quoted him as saying.
“If the private owner took control and the enterprise underperforms, it must be returned to the people,”Lukashenka said.
Both Minsk-based Kamunarka and Homiel-based Spartak are controlled by Marat Novikau, the Belarusian-born US businessman who increased his stake in the stock companies by buying shares from their current and former employees.
Lukashenka said that the directors had been appointed to carry out Mr. Novikov’s orders.
In remarks that could further worsen Belarus’ investment image abroad, Mr. Lukashenka said that many privatization deals in the 1990s were a mistake and could be annulled.
“We must hold on to these enterprises, those in the processing industry, footwear makers, etc., these are the people’s enterprises. And the overwhelming majority of these enterprises must be in the state’s hands. And there must be no privatization here,”he was quoted as saying.
Lukashenka warned that only “honest” investors were welcome in Belarus.
Referring to a court ruling, Lukashenka said that the government would hold a 57-percent stake in Kamunarka and a 60-percent stake in Spartak.
“The people must know that the president does not and will not give anything belonging to the people to anyone,”Lukashenka said.
“You know that no one will even set foot in Kamunarka and Spartak and other enterprises without me. You know my attitude toward privatization.”