History

The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus is a national administrative body that is engaged in developing and implementing the state policy in the area of mass media, book publishing, printing industry and book distribution. The Ministry of Information is subordinate to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus. The Ministry is entrusted with the regulatory functions in the field of communication and dissemination of information in the Republic of Belarus.

The earliest mention of the Press Committee under the BSSR People's Commissariat for Internal Trade as a national administrative body was found in Protocol No.2 of the meeting dated November 4, 1925.

The BSSR Council of People's Commissars with its Decision No.1659 dated December 27, 1926, eliminated the Press Committee under the BSSR People's Commissariat for Internal Trade and established the Press Committee under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars.

The Council of People's Commissars with its Decision No.929 dated June 27, 1933, eliminated the Press Committee under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars. Its responsibilities were handed over to the BSSR State Planning Committee, the official representative of the USSR Forestry People's Commissar under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars, the BSSR General Directorate for the Protection of State Secrets in the Press and the official representative of the USSR Committee for the Commodity Fund under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars.

The BSSR Council of People's Commissars with its Decision dated November 22, 1938, established the Directorate for Publishing Affairs under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars (BSSR Collection of laws, 1938, No.18, art. 71).

Decision No.56 of the BSSR Council of People's Commissars dated February 23, 1944, which was later approved by Decision No.751 of the USSR Council of People's Commissars dated June 22, 1944, organized the Directorate for Printing and Publishing under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars.

Since 1946, amid changing the name of people's commissariats to ministries, the Directorate for Printing and Publishing under the BSSR Council of People's Commissars began to be called the Directorate for Printing and Publishing under the BSSR Council of Ministers.

The Decision of the BSSR Council of Ministers dated March 16, 1949, merged the office of Belknigotorg (The Belarusian Office for Bookselling) and the Directorate for Printing and Publishing under the BSSR Council of Ministers into the Directorate for Printing Industry, Publishing Houses and Bookselling under the BSSR Council of Ministers (Belpoligrafizdat under the BSSR Council of Ministers).

In accordance with the Law of the USSR Supreme Soviet dated March 15, 1953, On Transformation of USSR Ministries, the Decree of the BSSR Supreme Soviet Presidium dated May 8, 1953, and Decision No.668 of the BSSR Council of Ministers dated June 3, 1953, established the BSSR Ministry of Culture, which in compliance with the Law of the BSSR Supreme Soviet dated August 19, 1953, included the Directorate for Printing Industry, Publishing Houses and Bookselling.

Order No.262 of the BSSR Ministry of Culture dated September 5, 1953, created the General Directorate for Publishing and Printing Industry within the BSSR Ministry of Culture.

With a view to improve management of publishing industry in the country, to enhance the quality of idealogical and scientific content of books that are to be published, to advance development of printing industry and to ensure better distribution of books, Decision No.477 of the BSSR Council of Ministers dated July 11, 1959, created the General Directorate for Publishing Houses, Printing Industry and Bookselling within the BSSR Ministry of Culture on the basis and by means of the personnel of the General Directorate for Publishing and Printing Industry and the Directorate for Bookselling. It was an independent state business entity financed from the state budget.

In accordance with the Decree of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium dated August 10, 1963, On Establishing the National Press Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers and in order to ensure better management of publishing houses, printing industry and bookselling in the country, the BSSR Supreme Soviet Presidium decided to create the National Press Committee of the BSSR Council of Ministers.

In 1965, the National Committee was renamed. The Decree of the BSSR Supreme Soviet Presidium dated October 23, 1965, became a basis for the BSSR Law dated December 22, 1965, on renaming the National Press Committee of the BSSR Council of Ministers to the Press Committee under the BSSR Council of Ministers.

In 1966, Decision No.435 of the BSSR Council of Ministers dated November 21, 1966, eliminated the General Directorate for the Protection of Military and State Secrets in the Press (Glavlit) within the BSSR Council of Ministers.

The Decree of the BSSR Supreme Soviet Presidium dated April 14, 1967, transformed the Press Committee under the BSSR Council of Ministers into the National Press Committee of the BSSR Council of Ministers.

In accordance with Order No.378 of the President of the National Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers for Publishing Houses, Printing Insudtry and Bookselling dated August 3, 1972, the Decree of the BSSR Supreme Council Presidium dated August 25, 1972, transformed the National Press Committee of the BSSR Council of Ministers into the union republic BSSR National Committee for Publishing Houses, Printing Industry and Bookselling.

The Decree of the BSSR Supreme Soviet Presidium dated August 24, 1989, On Transformation of Some BSSR Ministries and National Committees reorganized the union republic BSSR National Committee for Publishing Houses, Printing Industry and Bookselling into the union republic BSSR National Press Committee.

In accordance with Decision No.1389-ХII of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus dated January 10, 1992, On Restructuring the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, the National Press Committee of the Republic of Belarus was eliminated. The above-mentioned Decision superseded the National Belarusian Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting and the National Belarusian Press Committee and established the Ministry of Information on their basis.

With a view to increase the effectiveness of national administrative bodies, to bring their structure in line with economic transformations, to reduce the number of employees of these bodies and their maintenance costs, Decision No.145 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated March 14, 1994, established the Ministry of Culture and Press of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian Ministry of Information.

In compliance with Decree No.456 of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated November 10, 1995, On Restructuring Major Administrative Bodies of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Culture and Press of the Republic of Belarus was divided into the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the National Press Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

In accordance with Decree No.516 of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated September 24, 2001, On Improving the System of National Administrative Bodies and Other State Organizations that are Subordinate to the Government of the Republic of Belarus, the National Press Committee of the Republic of Belarus was transformed into the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus which was entrusted with the regulatory functions in the field of communication and dissemination of information.