Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Castro takes pressure off reform process

The economic "actualization" the country is undertaking will take at
least five years, and it is too big a task to be pressed by time,
President Raúl Castro said during a meeting of the expanded Council of
Ministers in Havana today.

"The biggest threat to the Revolution are the errors we commit," Castro
told his cabinet ministers, Party Politburo and Central Committee
members,and provincial Party chiefs, according to Granma. He added that
the reform process must be advanced "without haste, but without pause."

Talking about a major delay in the announced layoffs of 500,000 state
workers, Castro said the layoffs are "not a goal in itself, but a
measure to bring back efficiency and discipline." The timeline of
reforms must be adjusted, he said.

"A task of this magnitude that affects, one way or another, many
citizens, cannot be framed in inflexible terms."

Economy Minister Marino Murillo presented a "preliminary report" about
the recently concluded economic reform discussions in the run-up to a
rank-and-file Communist Party Congress in April. More than 7 million
Cubans participated in 127,113 meetings, generating 2,346 million
contributions to the discussion, according to Granma.

"All opinions" gathered during the debate "will be analyzed," Castro
said, regardless the quantity, according to Granma. "Detailed
information" of the results, according to the article, will be presented
to the public when the "process is complete".

Also during the meeting, General Comptroller Gladys Bejerano Portela
presented the "Internal Control Norms," a set of regulations published
this week in the Gaceta Oficial that function as a road map of the
economic reform process. The regulations are not only designed to battle
irregularities, but also to make management more efficient.

Castro said that Bejerano's office will take on an increasingly "more
important and decisive role."

Meanwhile, Leonardo Andollo Valdés, who was put in charge of a crucial
reform commission, reported about changes in the central government.
Andollo said that the reforms undertaken in Mayabeque and Artemisa, two
new provinces created after the split-up of Havana province, emphasized
the importance " of continuing reforms in these provinces."

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