Cuban Gov’t Assesses Economic and Social Model

Summarizing the two-day meeting, President Raul Castro called on Cubans to overcome problems, to fight resolutely and intelligently, and maintain the nation’s unity.

Havana, Mar 27 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Government held a two-day meeting to assess policies implemented since 2011 to update the country’s economic and social model, Granma daily reports Tuesday.

At the meeting headed by President Raul Castro, the authorities discussed key issues such as housing, currency exchange and standardization and heard a report on the study to amend the Constitution.

The three first years of the project to update the economy -they summarized- was characterized by a quick implementation of policies, and during 2016 and 2017 the efforts were geared towards improving what was achieved. However, the process slowed down -they added- due to the complexity of the measures being taken, planning errors and poor management control.

Among other issues, they mentioned a lack of tax-paying culture, poor use of accounting and book keeping as key tools for any economic analysis, problems with communicating the policies, failure that has hindered awareness and full understanding by the population of these difficult matters. This poor communication led to wrong interpretations due to information gaps.

The authorities also analyzed there was insufficient integration, limited vision on levels of risks and incomplete assessment of costs and benefits.

Among tasks to tackle, the head of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development, Marino Murillo, said the study to put into practice the currency standardization is a priority, as well as the completion of the National Plan of Economic and Social Development for 2030 and pushing ahead training of 580,000 self-employed people and over 30,000 public officials.

On housing, the Minister of Construction, Rene Mesa, said the State will use the resources it has available in an orderly manner to stop the deterioration of existing inventory, and then advance on recovery and solving the problem.

According to the latest Population Census, there are 3,824,000 houses in the island, of which 39 percent are in regular or poor technical conditions. The authorities are looking into 10 years for housing recovery.

To achieve this middle term goal, they will make investments in the cement industry and encourage local production of building materials which has been growing from 8 to 11 percent annually in the past five years.

On this relevant issue, President Raul Castro reiterated the housing policy must respect territorial and urban planning, beginning by the State.

The Secretary of the Council of State, Homero Acosta, presented a report on studies made to amend the Constitution which will have to reflect key economic, political and social changes taking place and reiterate the irrevocable nature of the socialist system in Cuba.

Summarizing the two-day meeting, Raul Castro called on Cubans to fight resolutely and intelligently, and maintain the nation’s unity.

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