Entrepreneurs to Strike
Presidential decree #760 is to come into force on January 1. According to the decree, only legal entities – state-owned or private – will be authorized to employ workforce. Nevertheless, more than 90 percent of entrepreneurs refused to register as legal entities – private unitary enterprise – even though the procedure was sometimes facilitated. Will they keep on their work after the New Year? What are the sentiments of entrepreneurs today?
There are 8 000 entrepreneurs registered in the tax inspectorate of a Minsk district, and only 360 of them have registered as legal entities.
Owner of a few shops Mikalai Ramashyn told RFE/RL:
“The state made an ultimatum. It talks to its nation with ultimatums. According to the sources of the Council of Ministers, entrepreneurs will be put down after the New Year. For example, the papers that didn’t work at all, like “the book of account and promotion of goods,” will now be scrutinized thoroughly.”
The total number of entrepreneurs is however growing. According to head of the Belarusian union of entrepreneurs Alexander Patupa, only about 500 people are to wind up their business.
“Taking into consideration the fact that every month more than a thousand entrepreneurs register in Minsk, the total number is to grow. The explanation is that businessmen register their employees as entrepreneurs.
Then the state can announce it assisted development of private business with its “brilliant” decree.”
But a number of minor entrepreneurs who own a couple of shops and have several employees will have to wind up their business. Mikalai Ramashyn says:
“They will have to leave, or to run hidden business. They have prohibited selling cigarettes in markets, haven’t they? Now “cigaretters” have again appeared in Zhdanovichy, Chervenski markets, everywhere in Minsk, like ten years ago.”
Now it’s not allowed to sell beer in markets, which means soon there’ll be bootleggers. These are only Belarusians who can keep making same mistakes 5-10 times.”
Entrepreneurs collect signatures against presidential decree #760.
Aliaksandar Tsatsura, one of the entrepreneurs’ leaders, says:
“WE have applied for holding an all-republican meeting of entrepreneurs on December 10 at 12.00 in Kastrychnitskaya Square.
Our colleagues from other regions will arrive on Friday to discuss the ways to attract more entrepreneurs from all over the country to the meeting. And starting from January 1, we plan to hold a republican strike and refrain from paying taxes.”
Head of the Belarusian union of entrepreneurs Alexander Patupa believes:
“The environment resists as hard as it can. But the year 2008 is to be crucial for entrepreneurs. They plan to abolish all privileges that entrepreneurs use now, no matter how many employees they have.”