Changes in Cuba's economy

Cuban Council of Ministers Easing Regulations on Self-Employment

HAVANA, Cuba, May 17 (acn) The increase of the prices of food and fuel in the international market were some of the elements considered to update the Cuban Economy Plan for 2011 during an expanded meeting of the Council of Ministers presided over by President Raul Castro.

As the Cuban leader said during the closing session of the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party last month, only because of this increase of prices, Cuba will have to pay an extra over $800 million for its imports this year to receive the same amount of products.

During the meeting of the Council of Ministers last Saturday, participants criticized the import of large amounts of products that can be manufactured in the country.

They also recognized the results of the recent sugarcane harvest that, although they were not ideal, allowed the country to increase the export of sugar and its derivatives.

Also presented was a summary report on the updating of the State’s Budget, whose revenues increase due to, among other causes, the unrestricted sale of rice, bread, sugar, and eggs, as well as the taxes and contribution of self-employed workers.

Participants were informed about the results of a study regarding the implementation of self-employment in the country.

Likewise, the Council of Ministers agreed to continue a process to make self-employment regulations more flexible, including the authorization to hire staff. They also approved a recommendation to extend the timetable to implement a process to reduce redundant jobs in the public sector.

In this regard, Raul Castro said that this is a process that takes time because it involves many people and it is necessary to create the conditions for its implementation. He insisted that no one would be abandoned.

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