Nobody knows what to do with golden share

The golden share was abolished a month ago, but nobody knows whether it is still effective or not. While ministries are in consultations between themselves and with their legal counsels, enterprises have to decide for themselves if they have a golden share or not.

By the moment the golden share was abolished on March 4, it had been in effect at 10 Belarusian enterprises. One month later, the situation has become even more complicated.

“The decree does not stipulate it clearly, so everyone takes their own decisions”, Uladzimir Kukharau, an officials from the State Committee for Property, told the European Radio for Belarus. He says there is no consensus on this issue. Personally, he thinks that the golden action is not in effect any longer.

“I understand that since there is no right of the golden share, there should be no golden share. Right? This is my personal view. We are still in consultations with legal experts”.

The European Radio for Belarus approached the Ministry of Justice for a clearer answer. But this reporter was told that this issue was not in their competence. They advised to approach the Ministry of Economy. Deputy economy minister Aleh Melnikau has his opinion in this regard but refused a comment in order to avoid disagreement with the State Committee for Property.

“In principle, I have some thoughts. But, first, I need to get them approved so that we have a common position of two ministries”.

While ministries are in consultations with each other, enterprises have to decide for themselves about the golden share. Tamara Mazes, CEO ValMet Co. says that nobody abolished the golden share. It is still effective at the metallurgical plant in Vaukavysk.

“Have you personally read the president’s decree to abolish the golden share? There was a special president’s decree to introduce the golden share at ValMet. If the president issues a special decree to abolish the golden share at ValMet, we will talk then…

Yes, I read in the Economichnaya Gazeta that it is possible to abolish golden shares. But they remain effective at the enterprises where they were introduced”.

On the contrary, managers at the Abutakhandal enterprise are confident that there is no more golden share at this enterprise. They are not going to wait for another decree.

“The golden share is abolished under the president’s decree. What other document do we need? This is the highest document”.

Officials at the Automobile Transport and Expedition Company also think that the golden share is not effective any longer. But even when it was still in effect, they felt no difference.

“Actually, we have not felt any special changes at our enterprise. It is not that the golden share was not used. Simply, our decision-making was not in conflict with the decisions of the state. The golden share was introduced to prevent things from making the state to interfere. Thank God, we have everything in order”.

It is interesting that when you look at the list of enterprises where the golden share was introduced, one can see that those enterprises, apart from those mentioned above, are rather small:

Mechanization 79
Automobile Transport and Expedition Company
Mazyr Oil Refinery
Talachyn Dairy
Babruysk Overhaul Plant
Senno Milk Powder Factory