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August 5th, 2002. Posted in News from Belarus

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The statement to the Chairman of Ministerial council of Belarus

Entrepreneurs have sent the statement to the Chairman of Ministerial council of Belarus Novitsky Gennady Vasilevich in which try to solve problems of a small-scale entrepreneurship and ask: “who are we to you? Enemies or Friends? Pack of swindlers or workman? Whether entrepreneurs in Belarus are necessary? Be defined, please”.

To the chairman of Ministerial council of Belarus
To Novitsky Gennady Vasilevich.
Dear Gennady Vasilevich!

More than a year, after introduction in action of the Decree of President №12 from 17.05.2001 “About the uniform tax from individual entrepreneurs …” conditions for activity of entrepreneurs were more or less comprehensible. Though, it is necessary to note, with acceptance of this Decree far not all problems of entrepreneurs have been solved.

The decree №12 has solved one of the most important problems of entrepreneurs, namely, it has released them from importunate as flies of numerous controllers who constantly recalculated the goods and money of entrepreneurs, and, at any discrepancy with registration data, have confiscated the goods, money and wrote out huge penalties.

Such “control” was regarded by the majority of entrepreneurs as mockery, caused irritation and compelled them to spend protest actions and strikes. According to data which resulted tax bodies, after introduction of the decree №12, i.e. cancellation of “control” of quantity of the goods and money, tax revenues in the budget from entrepreneurs have increased approximately twice.

After introduction in action of the Decree №12 have won both entrepreneurs and the state as a whole. But were and “lost” are the controllers who were engaged in recalculation of the goods and money, and in passing and bribery. For them decree introduction meant the end of very good “feeding trough”.

In this connection I advise to the government at acceptance what or decisions, decisions or acts to make an expert estimation of the given projects on following parametres:

The first, about their corruption. When the next act regulating the control of any state structure behind some sphere of economic activities is accepted, it is necessary to estimate, who will take bribes and who will be compelled to give them.

The second, the estimation of efficiency of such control, i.e. cost of the control and expected effect from it should be made. It is necessary to estimate, to what will result planned changes – in receipt increase in the budget, or to reduction?

The third, about social stability i.e. to make an estimation of prospective reaction of the population on the new act. Thus, in my opinion, the principle should be the firm – it is impossible to drive people in the corner and to leave out-of-pocket to existence.

The fourth, about increase or reduction of entrepreneurship activity of the population. Whether entrepreneurs in connection with acceptance of this act will show business activity, to create the new enterprises and workplaces, or they will be compelled to turn off the activity?

Analyzing already accepted and planned innovations in the legislation, concerning activity of entrepreneurs, involuntarily you come to conclusion that they prepared people far from understanding of problems of entrepreneurs. Probably they were guided by any criteria unknown to us.

Thus one is accurately traced: Despite consequences to put all spheres of enterprise activity under the rigid control of the state, to supervise any movings of the goods and money resources. The control for the sake of the control. The control for the sake of “execution”of entrepreneurs. Only so it is possible to estimate introduction of cash registers, any documents under the account of the goods, waybills, certificates etc.

I do not wish to stop on any concrete innovations, including on modification of the Decree №12, I wish to underline, and all of them worsen conditions of activity of entrepreneurs of RB. All of them cause indignations and discontent, and push them on new protest actions and strikes.

Thereupon it would be desirable to ask: That in general want in the government from entrepreneurs? If to esteem the decision of Ministerial council RB №760 from 11 June 2002 “About the concept of the state support and development of small entrepreneurship in RB on 2002 – 2005″ like government for entrepreneurship development, and if to analyse acts really operating and planned to acceptance counteracts entrepreneurship development.

It is asked: who are we to you? Enemies or Friends? Pack of swindlers or workman? Whether entrepreneurs in Belarus are necessary? Be defined, please. And that, turns out, urge foreign entrepreneurs to invest in our economy of means, and the put obstacles.
31 July there has passed strike of entrepreneurs RB in which have taken part more 150 thousands, concrete demands are made, they are finished to you in the Notice on strike. We are ready to discuss with you our problems; we are ready to speak with those who is sincerely interested in that the people of Belarus began to live better. We are ready to speak about a place of entrepreneurs in our society, about concrete acts of entrepreneurs infringing interests. Let’s talk! 150 thousand entrepreneurs, citizens of Belarus, ask you about it! Recently one woman, the entrepreneurs so has formulated an essence of what we want: “I wish to feel the person on the workplace, and not to be in constant fear that will check up, and, either will fine, or will confiscate, will always find for what”.

The basic idea of cooperation of the state and the citizens involved in small and average business is emasculated: “Pay taxes and sleep easy”.
The entrepreneurs already pays concerning the big tax for a month in advance, but to sleep to it easy do not give. Waybills on transportation, waybills on goods storage (and registered in tax body), obligatory certification and hygienic registration of the goods which has already undergone this procedure in neighboring countries, cash registers, the settlement account in bank (try then money there from remove, you will lose to 7 %) etc., etc. Bow to each sergeant, the inspector or checking that that has not fined or has not made confiscation. In general, all it creates the adverse environment for business. The entrepreneurs the most part of working hours is compelled to be engaged in not actually the business, and any drawing up of the reporting, accounts department, official registration of papers etc. And, despite all its efforts, any checking, at desire, can “undress” the entrepreneurs, always will be for what.
The state, is obliged to protect the entrepreneurs who has paid the uniform rate of the tax from any harassments and claims of someone since the entrepreneurs before the state has executed the duty.

I suppose, that there are separate kinds of the goods and services which demand the additional control (account) from the state (obligatory certification, cash register presence, etc.). They are necessary for deducing from under action of the legislation on the uniform tax and to collect taxes in other order.

I understand, that in our state the official, it would not occupy what post, can instantly lose a post if the opinion distinct from opinion of the President expresses. But to do something it is necessary. We, from its part, are ready to dialogue, but in a case if to us will not want to listen, will not want to talk to us, are ready to defend our interests and other lawful ways, with exhibiting of political requirements.

5.08.2002

Yours faithfully

Chairman of Strike Committee of entrepreneurs
of Belarus Valery Levaneuski

230005, of Grodno-5, p.o. 63 (for letters)
Bodies. A/fax (0152 31-30-62, ph. 8-0296-31-30-62

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Note: Translated by means of machine translation. The original text in Russian is on a site www.levonevsky.org or www.levonevski.net
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