17 January 2018, Wednesday, 0:31

Are sole traders to become black marketeers?


Many individual entrepreneurs can go underground because of the recent sanctions against business.

The trade inspection of the Ministry of Trade has warned about large-scale inspections in the market places and shopping centres since July 22. “Zavtra tvojej strany” writes about how sole traders could react.

“During the inspections a consistent treatment to the work of owners of trade outlets is to be made,” told the first deputy minister of trade Artur Karpovich.

- Why do they need that? They want to show the seriousness of their intentions: everything which had been said about certificates and accompanying documents, is going to be serious, – an economist Leu Marholin.

The developments of the situation, according to the expert, is to depend on the results, how massive these inspections would be, how many people would be affected, and how serious they would be harmed.

Why shopping centres are to be targeted, though the problems had been created in the sphere of light industry, which is mostly state-run in Belarus?

- The authorities stubbornly continue to believe that the problem of our unwanted stock lies in individual entrepreneurs, who are bringing in the country some cheap goods, sell them, and Belarusian goods are not sold because of that. And sole traders are to be clamped down and forced to sell Belarusian goods, and then everything is to be alright, –

Leu Marholin said. – What’s behind it is the following: if you cannot receive a certificate or accompanying documents at Moscow market, go to Belarusian enterprises, to wholesale depots, buy Belarusian goods, and all your problems are solved.

- However, Belarusian consumer goods are not really popular even at the existing trade outlets.

- It’s completely true. The light industry is exactly the industry which cannot keep up with the demand of the population. Tractors and cars could be manufactured at a state enterprise, and rather successfully. But the fashion in light industry changes rapidly, and one should follow all those whims, a great number of models should exist, and not like it happens in our country, where 5-6 models are invented, those good ones, and then they are repeated in great numbers. The light industry is the sphere which is to be developed by private business.

- How inspections of the Ministry of Trade are to affect entrepreneurs? Are they to become non-grata persons in our country?

- First of all, it is not to concern all sole traders, but only those who sell clothes and footwear. Those who sell tableware, household supplies, do not need such certificates and it is easier for them to make accompanying documents.

But everything is to depend on which sanctions are to be used. If there would be reports in mass media that goods of Br10 or 20 mln worth are seized from a businessman N (depending on whether he lives in in the regions or in Minsk), the story will end in resentment, transformation to a gray scheme or changing the sphere of activities, emigration from the country.

If before 2011 I was more daring in my predictions, now I avoid doing so, as our nation is hard to predict. It seems that there is no way out for them, they had been placed in a dead end situation. But still they find a way out. And even several ones!

- In some regions sole traders decided to close and even went to an unemployment office to be registered as unemployed…

- It is simply a demarche. There are enough working places now, no one needs to be registered as an unemployed. Another thing is that salaries proposed are rather modest. One will go and work for Br3 mln, while another will leave the country in search of a better life. And the third one will go underground and will call his friends, acquaintances and clients and offer them goods under the counter. There could be different variants.