22 January 2018, Monday, 3:09

Anatoly Shumchanka: Sole traders left alone for present


For almost 2 months Belarusian individual entrepreneurs have been working according to the new rules.

The chairman of “Perspektiva” public association Anatoly Shumchanka in an interview to charter97.org states that at the moment the situation has stabilized, and businessmen are not stifled by checks. It is understandable, as the state has found its “Klondike” for earning easy money – the sanctions against Russia.

- Now we have only one major problem – no sales, that is, low purchasing power. Everyone lays hopes on the season, and sell shelf stock. But there are no profound changes. I do not want to speak too soon, but it seems to me that there are no serious moves by the state as well. There were inspections a few weeks ago: representatives of the Ministry of Trade came and checked labels. But it was not serious.

- What is the reason of this calm period, to your mind? How the situation is going to evolve?

- I think the authorities should leave sole traders alone. The fact is that due to the European sanctions against Russia, the regime has a wonderful opportunity to earn money now. I advise our officials not to waste time on checks of private entrepreneurs and on bullying them. We are already on our last legs! Let them focus on earning money in Russia, while it is hot. I think everybody has understood me. It’s a part of our common tactics. I have always said that the main thing for us is to hold out for a night, and situation will change.

I would like to tell officials, including Mr Prakapovich: well, guys, it’s enough. Leave small businessmen alone. Look, now you have Klondike right in our own backyard! The situation is hard for us nowadays as it is. Concentrate all your best qualities on it – your cleverness, conscience, wits. And we shall do our best, too.

- What is the situation in the regions now? They have advocated nation-wide strike.

- The regions work as before. Those protests were short-term and spontaneous.

We remind that Lukashenka signed the controversial decree #222 “On regulating business activities and trade by sole traders and other private persons.” According to this decree, since July 1, 2014 sole traders must have must have certificates and accompanying documents for all goods imported by them in Belarus and documents which confirm purchase of goods, including the goods imported from the Customs Union countries.