Belarus to make those who work less than half a year pay a $250 fine to the government

Under a new measure in Belarus, people who work less than half the year will have to pay the government for their idleness.

The parliament on Wednesday passed the proposal by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, which requires work-capable people who work less than 183 days a year to pay a yearly fine of $250. Disabled people, pension recipients and people with young children are exempt.

A statement from the parliament, where the measure passed by a vote of 100-2, said "it's necessary to stimulate citizens who are capable of work and ensure they fulfill their constitutional obligation to take part in financing state expenditures."

Labor Minister Marianna Shchetkina told the parliament the measure would be temporary.

Belarus' economy is stumbling in the wake of economic troubles in neighboring Russia.