15 August 2022, Monday, 9:43
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Who To Pay For "Ration Cards" for Belarusians?

Who To Pay For "Ration Cards" for Belarusians?

The economist revealed the essence of the authorities' trick.

January 17, Belarusian retailers began selling certain socially important goods for vulnerable categories of people at a 10% discount. The action will last until June 30. It operates in the framework of the agreement signed by the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade with representatives of sixteen retail networks.

Economist Katerina Bornukova told Filin what, in her opinion, raises questions in the initiative of the authorities.

- The problem is in the very design of this action. It's not that it is so short-term, the action can be extended. The point is that the state is transferring its social function to private enterprises. It's unclear why. It's not that there are super profits in our retail sector right now. On the contrary, it does not feel good," said the expert.

"Another point is the ineffectiveness of the very approach, proposed by the state:

- If you do not eat what is offered on the list if your problem is something else, it turns out you do not get this social support. From this point of view, this is not the most effective way to help.

It is always better to give people financial support rather than provide a discount on some product.

According to Katerina Bornukova, not all vulnerable groups will be covered by support under the launched campaign. Again, we are talking about pensioners, large families and recipients of targeted social assistance. In other words, those categories of the population will be covered, which already receive help from the state.

- Yes, these are vulnerable strata. These are people who spend a lot of money on food. These discounts are relevant for them. However, this is not an inclusive list of vulnerable categories of the population.

We also have working poverty. We know that among low-income families, not everyone receives targeted social assistance. Many pensioners, on the contrary, are not low-income by Belarusian standards. Many families with children, even with one or two children, single-parent families, more often single mothers, will not receive any social support through this mechanism.

How will retail networks compensate for their participation in the action? The interlocutor of Filin assumes that retailers will finally increase prices either for promotional goods or other popular items: "In any case, someone will pay for it".