Despite Economic Challenge, Cuba Ensures Human Development Plans

Havana, Dec 28 (Prensa Latina) Despite ongoing economic challenges, Cuba is assigning 51% of the current outlays of its 2017 Budget to health, education and social welfare.

In presenting the State Budget for 2017, Finance and Prices Minister Lina Pedraza told the closing session Tuesday of the Cuban Parliament for 2016 that outlays would augment for Social Welfare in correspondence with the increase of people in retiring age.

After saying that revenues are at 97%, Minister Pedraza said that the new Budget contains fresh measures such as tax cut for the use of labor force to decrease the burden of expenses in the entrepreneurial and pubic sectors, according to the Tax System Law.

She added that local Governments will be allowed to retain 50% of the revenue coming from local taxation so that they use it in economic and social development plans.

The Minister said that the total outlay envisioned will increase 11% compared to the present fiscal year, mainly due to the growth of production that replace imports and of investments.

The 2017 Budget stipulates a deficit of around 11.5 billion pesos and of 12% of the Gross Domestic Product.

We’ll be starting a year full of challenges, but we feel reassured by the support of the people all across the island, Minister Pedraza said.

In closing the Parliament session, President Raul Castro warned Tuesday that the country would continue to face economic and financial challenges in 2017, though he predicted an ascending trend for the Cuban economy.

He pointed out that the GDP is expected to moderately grow 2 per cent next year, while stressing on the need to boost foreign investment by getting rid of an obsolete mentality in dealing with accepting foreign capital.


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