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April 3 – April 9, 2023
The ruling elite

Fines shore up the state budget as the authorities target private pharmacies

The situation has not changed
Fines shore up the state budget as the authorities target private pharmacies
Аптека 5-й категории. Фото: pharma.by

The authorities continue to expropriate the assets of private businesses and Lukashenka’s opponents to supplement the state budget. Private companies in the medical sector are being squeezed out in favour of the public sector and large companies. 

The State Control Committee of the Republic of Belarus seized more than BYN 630,000 from the educational centre owned by Yauheni Liviant, who was earlier arrested. 

The State Control Committee also opened another tax evasion case against the management of a computer academy. 

The state prosecutor alleges that the participants in the “NEXTA case” are liable for damage to the state in the amount of BYN 30 million. 

Large-scale purges and dismissals of dissidents in state-owned companies continue, with 15 people dismissed from the state-owned electric company in Ašmiany. 

Ex-presidential candidate Andrei Dzmitryeu received an 18-month jail sentence. 

Officials impose restrictions on private pharmacies to the advantage of the state pharmacy chain, causing dissatisfaction in small towns. 

The authorities continue to intervene in the economy and retail sector. The prosecutor’s office of the Brest region demands an increase in criminal prosecutions for price increases. The State Control Committee suspended the operation of a chain store in Mahiliou. In Babruisk, a criminal case was opened regarding price inflation of vegetables and fruits. 

Companies continue to liquidate and relocate businesses. Major international fintech company Kyriba is closing its development centre in Belarus. The IT sphere loses more than 800 specialists every month. 

Living standards are deteriorating, and Belarusians are returning to depending on their currency reserves. 

The number of economically active citizens is shrinking, but this does not cause concern for the regime because unemployment remains relatively low (3.8%, according to official data). However, the accuracy of official statistics is questionable. 

The transparency of state bodies continues to deteriorate as Belstat classifies increasing amounts of data undermining trust in state institutions. 

The government probably remains optimistic about the economic situation due to positive indicators, such as large dairy industry enterprises increasing their profits.  

The security officials play a significant role in bolstering the state budget through fines and confiscations. 

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