OREANDA-NEWS. On May 15, 2008 President Alexander Lukashenko met with Premier Sergei Sidorsky to receive his report on the progress in implementing the national innovative development programme, reported the Official website http://president.gov.by.

In particular, the meeting focused on construction of new production facilities in Belarus and on revamping active facilities.

The Premier informed the President on the completion of the construction of a newsprint mill in the town of Shklov. The technological process of paper manufacturing has been adjusted. The newsprint mill is expected to manufacture around 40,000 tonnes of paper of improved quality. A waste-free production cycle will enable the company to manufacture, in addition to paper, boards, laminated veneer lumber and wooden frame houses (up to 250 units per year). The newsprint mill has its own cogeneration plant running on waste – wood chips.

The Premier reported on renovation of the Shklov-based factory Spartak which is expected to manufacture corrugated packaging and paper for sanitary and hygienic purposes. The reconstruction is due to complete in 2009.

The President was informed on the beginning of construction of a new factory in Gomel to manufacture polished glass. The investment in this project is estimated at \\$ 200 million. The inauguration of the new factory is slated for 2009. As a result of this project, the production of this type of glass in Belarus will be increased considerably.

The Prime Minister also reported to the President on the country’s progress in meeting its social and economic targets. In January-April 2008, GDP upped 10,4 per cent from the same period last year. Capital investment went up 24 per cent, with the total of foreign investment over this period approaching \\$ 600 million, or nearly 2,5 times over the same period last year.

An average salary had reached by the beginning of May the equivalent of \\$ 435. 1,7 million square meters of housing were built.

The Premier said that, because of the negative influence of external factors, the republic would miss this year its inflation target (6-8 per cent). Over the past four months consumer prices for goods and service went up by 5,3 per cent, including prices for food by 5,1 per cent; but this figure is still smaller than in Russia and Ukraine.

The meeting also discussed a draft national budget 2009-2010. The preparation of this document is based on the President’s instruction to bring an average salary in Belarus to the equivalent of \\$ 700 by 2010. For this, in 2009 an average salary should be \\$ 600.