Price “Bomb”: Everything in Belarus Can Rise Sharply in Price

In the country, there is a "man-made" increase in the cost of prices for products.

Small business is often called the backbone of the economy, but in Belarus, the number of small businesses continues to decline. An activist of the European Belarus civil campaign from Slonim, ex-entrepreneur Viktar Marchyk told about the situation of private business in the country.

– Why is the number of small individual entrepreneurs continuing to decline in Belarus?

– I believe that this is the policy of the state. Since the 90s, small and medium-sized businesses began to be destroyed. In fact, the Soviets’ revenge is underway. People who were born at that time do not accept change. They want everything to remain as it was in the USSR. Small and medium-sized businesses are simply being destroyed, it is believed that they are not needed.

In all developed countries, small and medium-sized businesses are “moving forward,” while it is the other way around in our country. It started in the 90s and continues to this day. Today we can say that business in Belarus has “collapsed.”

– How can the downward trend of small businesses affect the economy of Belarus? Could prices rise due to a shortage of products, as well as a monopoly on the part of large companies?

– This will definitely only have a negative effect on our country. When small and medium-sized businesses develop, jobs automatically appear, plus there is competition, due to which prices fall. If there is some kind of monopoly of big business, then, naturally, the monopolist will set its prices, regardless of the needs and capabilities of the population. This means that prices will definitely rise. Only competition and the development of small and medium-sized businesses will contribute to the decline in prices.

And now the “price bomb” is ticking under the Belarusian economy: because of the policy of the authorities in relation to small and medium-sized businesses, everything can significantly rise in price.

– Experts note that, because of the policy of the authorities, small businesses have to either close down or relocate to another country. Is it so?

– Yes, I agree with this opinion; this is due to the situation in our country, that is, the destruction of small and medium-sized businesses. I would say that it is easier for people not only to close down but to transfer their business to another country. This has been happening for a long time.

I’ve met and talked to people who have moved their business to Russia, for example. They are very satisfied, and they advise other people they know to move, too. Some are moving their business to Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, depending on who has certain opportunities and connections.

There is definitely an outflow of literate and smart people who could make our economy free and developing, but they go abroad. As we can see, the authorities do not need people who can do something for our country. They only need those who will work for a small salary, sit, and be silent, that is, they need slaves.

– Another unpleasant tendency for the budget is the drop in the share of small businesses in filling the treasury. The budget deficit in May rose to 1 billion rubles. Will this trend continue? What are the consequences of this?

– How many times have we met with the leadership of various levels at forums and so on, they always said that the share of small and medium-sized businesses is very small in the state budget. They talked about the percentage, but if you convert this percentage into money, you get a fairly large amount. The current situation is such that the authorities are counting every penny, so it would be very tangible and thoughtless to lose millions of dollars. I believe that there will be losses in the budget anyway.

– Can such a policy of the authorities affect the mood of small business owners, as well as their clients? What are the moods of people in your city today?

– The effect has been going on for a long time. Naturally, this whole attitude of the government toward entrepreneurs is having a negative impact. The majority, 90% or even more, have a negative view of the current regime.

Pressure on entrepreneurs contributes to higher prices for products because the more costs a business has, the higher the price. No entrepreneur will work at a loss. As a result, all this puts pressure on the pocket of an ordinary consumer. The ordinary population also understands who is to blame for this, because every entrepreneur explains to the buyer what is the reason for the rise in prices for his products.

The situation is the same in our city. You come to the market on a weekday – and there is no one there. Many no longer work on weekdays, although they worked earlier. Those who are still working are actually paid zero. If they sell one thing, then they are happy about it.

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