A number of proposals on ways to develop southeastern parts of Mogilev Oblast were outlined by Belarusian Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi during the government conference held in Kostyukovichi on 14 August, BelTA has learned.
The economy minister noted that taking into account all circumstances and metrics the state of affairs in the region had not changed considerably for the better in the course of implementing the program on developing the region. “There is no obvious growth in the region for now. The positive things include the creation of enterprises and 2,000 new jobs,” Dmitry Krutoi noted. In his words, the available human resources were insufficient for implementing a number of projects, which could have attracted investors.
During the government conference the economy minister mentioned several generalized proposals put forward by various agencies with a view to fixing the situation in southeastern parts of Mogilev Oblast. Expanding the presidential decree on developing Orsha District onto the entire southeast of Mogilev Oblast was one of them. “It involves a big package of tax preferences, investment preferences, and financial preferences, preferences in dealing with unused assets,” Dmitry Krutoi said. “For now without evaluating results of the Orsha experiment at least after one year it is difficult to talk about simply copying these regulations into the program for the entire southeast. And the scale of financing of these regions differs as well.”
Dmitry Krutoi added that other cities and towns of Belarus would like to get new preferences and special conditions, too, this is why the matter will be considered in a systemic manner when the new program for the next five-year term gets developed.
“Declaring this region of Mogilev Oblast a free economic zone is the second option. It may not be a good idea to do that indiscriminately,” the economy minister believes. “Woodworking factories, industrial enterprises, construction materials enterprises, enterprises that process agricultural products or alternative energy projects, some pinpoint sites may possibly be included into the free economic zone Mogilev. It may be justified.”
Six out of seven districts in Mogilev Oblast’s southeast have been affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe. It is advisable to continue the development of alternative energy industry there, Dmitry Krutoi noted. “Before the nuclear power plant is commissioned and the general energy budget is formed, the Energy Ministry exercises great caution in authorizing new solar energy and wind energy projects. Taking into account peculiarities of the southeast, concentrating all new projects in this region at least on the horizon of 2020-2021 has been suggested.”
The construction of a modern motorway in the region was discussed ahead of the government conference. Building a transport corridor Grodno-Minsk-Mogilev-Krichev-Roslavl-Western Kazakhstan within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia was suggested back in 2014. “Capabilities of the cement mills in Krichev and Kostyukovichi could be used in the course of building the road. It could reduce the load on the M1 motorway. In essence, we would get a new road to Moscow and Roslavl,” Dmitry Krutoi noted.
In his words, the project remains of current interest today. The Belarusian side pushes for it within the framework of the new program on integration with Russia. The Russian side has presented no arguments against the project so far.