Cuban Minister presents elements of the Economic and Social Strategy and the steps being taken for its immediate implementation

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Havana, Oct 13 (RHC) Cuba has not stopped thinking about the development of its economy, despite the complex panorama in which it is operating, due to the consequences of the pandemic and the tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the US government against our country, assured Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil Fernández, at the Round Table on Monday.

The also Minister of Economy and Planning ( MEP) reiterated some of the elements of the Economic and Social Strategy of the country and the steps that have been taken in its implementation, under the leadership of Army General Raul Castro Ruz, President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, to overcome, move forward and not back down in front of the tense situation faced by the national economy.

He stressed that, as informed by the President of the Republic, the country has been subject to other 121 punitive measures from 2019 to date, with the express purpose of asphyxiating the economy and causing discouragement and discontent in the population.

He said that in this scenario, the economy has been facing an increase in the demand for expenses, “we have had to invest almost one billion pesos in the financing of expenses related to Health.

In explaining the difficult panorama in which the country has been developing in these months, he referred to the 150,000 interrupted state workers and the 250,000 self-employed workers with temporary suspension of work. “Even those who have not been interrupted or under temporary suspension of their licenses have had a low level of activity in both the state and non-state sectors,” he added.

He assured that this is compounded by a decrease in foreign currency inflows to the country, border closures and effects on export markets, although the strategy of producing for export has been maintained, which he described as a very valid decision.

He added that all this has been done under planning, thanks to the potential that the country has to plan its resources and put them where they perform best, for the practical effects of the moment it is facing.

Explaining the principles of the Strategy approved in July, he said that when it was designed to face COVID-19, it was divided into two stages, a first one that at that time had three phases and that has been modified with the new normality, whose central objective is Health.

He highlighted that a second stage, under different conditions of the productive activity and the country’s normality, “is to boost the economy and to implement measures that allow to implement more quickly elements that are already proposed in the conceptualization of the economic model.

He referred to the importance of giving more rhythm to the strategy, to which the new normality contributes in several provinces of the country.

“While we work to overcome the current context, which requires a lot of unity and understanding from our people on how to move forward, we do not stop thinking about our development model, its sustainability and the transformations that we have to incorporate to achieve that prosperous socialism that we Cubans have decided as a model,” he said.

He said that in the second stage there are no phases, “there are 16 key result areas, and we are working in all areas at the same time,” and he called for a greater pace of the proposed transformations.

FIVE BASIC ELEMENTS THAT MAKE UP THE STRATEGY

Production and commercialization of food.

Incentive to exports.

Transformations in the business system.

Improvement of self-employment.

Monetary regulation (which includes the elimination of the duality of currency and exchange, but has other elements).

ON THE PRODUCTION AND COMMERCIALIZATION OF FOOD

Regarding the first issue, the Deputy Prime Minister specified some steps that have been taken, among which he mentioned:

Flexibilization (by Resolution 24/2020 of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security) of the hiring of casual labor for agriculture.

New fiscal incentives for the productions of the mini-industry and their commercialization through retail trade.

It was initiated in three provinces of the country (Havana, Villa Clara and Santiago de Cuba) the sale in MLC of inputs for the productive base.

Creation of the Bank of Agricultural Promotion before the end of 2020 and supported by the network of the Bank of Credit and Trade.

Transformation of the commercialization of agricultural products, so that it results in a productive stimulus and in conditions of legality

Transformation of the state-owned enterprise into an agricultural enterprise.

INCENTIVE TO EXPORTS

Referring to the urgency of stimulating and expanding exports, the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that the possibility of non-State forms of management being able to export through State-owned companies is underway. He informed that 15 contracts have already been signed.

He pointed out that producers are beginning to show interest in increasing the added value of their goods. What has been done, he said, is still incipient; but progress is being made. As for imports, he added, 66 contracts are underway.

Gil Fernández also drew attention to the new fiscal incentives implemented to stimulate exports, both in the state and non-state sectors.

In his opinion, the country’s monetary order will also have a favorable impact on the expansion of sales abroad. He reiterated that this system will not solve all problems, but it will help to remove many obstacles that are weighing down the economy, and this is one of them.

CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN THE STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISE

Regarding the transformations in the business system, a relevant topic within the economic strategy, he reviewed some of the 15 measures recently approved and added to the 28 previously signed.

Make distribution to workers more flexible, eliminating the limit of up to five average salaries without conditioning it to compliance or over compliance with management indicators. This will be applied in the fiscal year 2020, with distribution in 2021.

Allow retiring workers to be hired for the same position as the one they have held until they obtain their pension, as long as it is in the interest of the entity.

Decentralize the power to create, merge and extinguish companies, as well as the approval of corporate objects to the organs, agencies and OSDE.

Convert into companies, where necessary and advisable, those uebs that close productive cycles totally or partially, or develop activities of different nature within the same company.

Approve, as one of the figures to integrate the state business system, the subsidiary company.

The head of the MEP also referred to the implementation of a new system of foreign exchange allocation in the economy, more decentralized, which favors management and productive linkages.

He referred to the work undertaken in the design of the institutional framework and operation of micro, small and medium enterprises, state and private, from an inclusive perspective.

SELF-EMPLOYMENT, EXPANSION AND FLEXIBILITY

The measures set forth in the economic strategy to expand and make self-employment (TCP) more flexible are based, he explained, on changing the list of permitted activities to one that includes what cannot be done.

In this direction, he said, work is being done with the academia, progress has been made, and there is consensus on the characteristics that “this new list” should have. In addition, the tax system is being studied to simplify it, as well as the framework for approving activities in order to make it more flexible.

He also referred to the development of the wholesale market and Mercabal’s experience with sales to cooperatives and TCP, whose offers, as far as possible, should be extended.

MONETARY REGULATION

On the subject, Gil Fernández underlined that the monetary order, with an impact on business life and the population, will allow the elimination of the monetary and exchange duality, excessive subsidies, undue gratuitousness and the transformation of income.

He stressed that these changes, without shock therapies, are for the good of the country, for the harmonious functioning of the economy and for the benefit of our people.

He reiterated that “we are not satisfied with what has been achieved in the implementation of the strategy”; but if we maintain control of the pandemic and focus on work, it is possible to have results and not only resist the onslaught of the blockade, but also contribute to development and achieve standards of living for the population that will allow progress in the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism.

INCENTIVE TO EXPORTS

Referring to the urgency of stimulating and expanding exports, the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that the possibility of non-State forms of management being able to export through State-owned companies is underway. He informed that 15 contracts have already been signed.

He pointed out that producers are beginning to show interest in increasing the added value of their goods. What has been done, he said, is still incipient; but progress is being made. As for imports, he added, 66 contracts are underway.

Gil Fernández also drew attention to the new fiscal incentives implemented to stimulate exports, both in the state and non-state sectors.

In his opinion, the country’s monetary order will also have a favorable impact on the expansion of sales abroad. He reiterated that this system will not solve all problems, but it will help to remove many obstacles that are weighing down the economy, and this is one of them.

CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN THE STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISE

Regarding the transformations in the business system, a relevant topic within the economic strategy, he reviewed some of the 15 measures recently approved and added to the 28 previously signed.

Make distribution to workers more flexible, eliminating the limit of up to five average salaries without conditioning it to compliance or over compliance with management indicators. This will be applied in the fiscal year 2020, with distribution in 2021.

Allow retiring workers to be hired for the same position as the one they have held until they obtain their pension, as long as it is in the interest of the entity.

Decentralize the power to create, merge and extinguish companies, as well as the approval of corporate objects to the organs, agencies and OSDE.

Convert into companies, where necessary and advisable, those uebs that close productive cycles totally or partially, or develop activities of different nature within the same company.

Approve, as one of the figures to integrate the state business system, the subsidiary company.

The head of the MEP also referred to the implementation of a new system of foreign exchange allocation in the economy, more decentralized, which favors management and productive linkages.

He referred to the work undertaken in the design of the institutional framework and operation of micro, small and medium enterprises, state and private, from an inclusive perspective.

SELF-EMPLOYMENT, EXPANSION AND FLEXIBILITY

The measures set forth in the economic strategy to expand and make self-employment (TCP) more flexible are based, he explained, on changing the list of permitted activities to one that includes what cannot be done.

In this direction, he said, work is being done with the academia, progress has been made, and there is consensus on the characteristics that “this new list” should have. In addition, the tax system is being studied to simplify it, as well as the framework for approving activities in order to make it more flexible.

He also referred to the development of the wholesale market and Mercabal’s experience with sales to cooperatives and TCP, whose offers, as far as possible, should be extended.

MONETARY REGULATION

On the subject, Gil Fernández underlined that the monetary order, with an impact on business life and the population, will allow the elimination of the monetary and exchange duality, excessive subsidies, undue gratuitousness and the transformation of income.

He stressed that these changes, without shock therapies, are for the good of the country, for the harmonious functioning of the economy and for the benefit of our people.

He reiterated that “we are not satisfied with what has been achieved in the implementation of the strategy”; but if we maintain control of the pandemic and focus on work, it is possible to have results and not only resist the onslaught of the blockade, but also contribute to development and achieve standards of living for the population that will allow progress in the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism.

(Taken from RHC)

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