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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Sets For Launch of Privatization

MINSK -- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a program to launch privatization that has been stalled in the former Soviet republic since independence, his top economic adviser said.

Pyotr Kapitula said by telephone Wednesday that the program called for privatization of more than 600 large- and medium-sized businesses by the end of the year.

"This means we have at last begun to tackle privatization of good-sized industries," he said. "The president has made clear to industry that there will be no more government handouts. These people have to change their mentality."

Kapitula said a presidential order last month banning investment funds would soon be lifted.

The privatization program calls for turning over virtually entire sections of the service industry to the private sector.