In order to increase demand for slow-selling products, Belarusian authorities forced employees of state-owned banks to purchase such goods.
In Belarusbank (the biggest state-owned retail bank), employees were approached by a manager. – He said each of the employees has to buy a carpet from a carpet factory in Brest. He informed us that the factory was bringing losses, so we need to support it. – said one of the women working for Belarusbank. She complined that patterns on the carpets are unattractive and they have not changed since Soviet era.
The women also reported that employees in a different branch of the bank had to support in a simillar way cotton manufacture in Baranovitse. Cotton bed linen and cotton underpants were brought to their workplace for sale. Some of the products had labels indicating that their were produced in 2005.
According to Belarusian Statistics Committee, during the first four months of 2011, reserves of industrial production have increased by 36,5%. By May 1st, the value of the unsold goods reached 7 billion rubles (roughly 1,5 milliard euro), which equals half of the entire value of a monthly production.