26 Jan 2018 18:42

Belarusian authorities to compile database of able-bodied 'parasites'

MINSK. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Belarus will compile a national database of able-bodied unemployed citizens to enforce a presidential decree signed on Thursday, First Deputy Labor and Social Protection Minister Andrei Lobovich said.

"For the decree to be implemented comprehensively, the compilation and maintenance of a national database of able-bodied citizens of age not employed in the national economy is envisioned," Lobovich said at a press conference in Minsk on Friday following President Alexander Lukashenko's Decree No. 1 on promoting employment.

The database will be formed using a two-stage mechanism, Lobovich said.

"At the first stage, on the national level, the main database will be compiled using national information resources. At the second stage, on the local level, local government bodies will adjust the main database using the information resources they have," he said.

"The base will be used by local bodies of government to take an individual approach in resolving employment problems," he said.

President Lukashenko signed Decree No. 1 on January 25, canceling a fee collected from the unemployed to finance government expenditures. At the same time, such individuals will have to pay the full cost of services subsidized by the state starting on January 1, 2019.

The decree also tasks local governments with setting up ad hoc commissions to promote employment.

The Decree on Preventing Social Parasitism earlier obliged Belarusian citizens, foreign citizens, and people without citizenship permanently staying in the country and not contributing to the financing of government expenditures or contributing to such financing for less than 183 calendar days a year to pay an annual fee amounting to 20 base values (one base value currently equals 24.5 Belarusian rubles).

The decree generated active protest among Belarusian citizens. A number of large cities saw unsanctioned marches of "non-parasites" in February and March 2017.