17 January 2018, Wednesday, 4:15

Sole traders on strike all over Belarus


On July 1 in a number of large cities sole traders blacked their work.

In a number of Belarusian cities sole traders went on strike at the markets and shopping centres as (it is impossible for them to fulfill the requirements of Lukashenka’s decree #222).

As BelaPAN was informed by a sole trader from Minsk, a representative of the Republican public association “Perspektiva” Vyachaslau Pilipuk, such situation is observed in Baranavichy, Slonim, Mahilyou, Vitsebsk, Pinsk, and probable in some other towns.

According to available information, the situation in Baranavichy has become especially inflammable. There sole traders gathered in front of the building of the local administration and demand talks with city officials.

Sole traders in Minsk haven’t stopped their work. As Pilipuk explained, over the years of their work small businessmen in the capital had created a so-called financial safety cushion, while in the regions sole traders live in a more unpretentious way, as they live on current sale proceeds.

Pilipuk noted that “Perspektiva” had not been engaged in staging protests of sole traders, they emerged spontaneously, due to self-organizing of small businessmen. “We believe that sole traders and officials should grow old. It means that officials who adopt such decisions (government regulations, which make work of sole traders more difficult), should be ready to face certain consequences, and entrepreneurs should have the nerve to take independent decisions and be responsible for themselves. We have repeated many times that no one except sole traders themselves could do more for defending their rights. We are ready simply to offer them informational or legal assistance,” the representative of the public association “Perspektiva” explained.

We remind that under Lukashenka’s decree #222, which came into force since July 1, (sole traders must have certificates and accompanying documents for all goods) imported by them in Belarus after this date. This refers to source accounting documents made at the territory of another country, cashier's receipts’ administrative details, and other documents which confirm purchase of goods. Sole traders find this requirement unworkable, stating that it is next to impossible to receive such documents from suppliers (mostly Russian ones).

A transition period until March 1, 2015 has been offered. During this period sole traders can sell stock in trade imported before the decree came into force, without accompanying documents. As believed by businessmen, it offers a possibility to work for some time in familiar conditions, but does not solve the problem.

On June 30 a forum with more than 200 participating sole traders from Minsk and regions took place in Minsk. A resolution was passed following the results of the forum. By this resolution the head of state was urged to impose moratorium on carrying out inspections and imposing fines on sole traders. These sanctions can be imposed after Lukashenka’s decree #222 and the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union on safety of consumer goods coming into force.