Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Posted on Thursday, 10.31.13

Cuba legalizes rent-a-toilets in its effort to expand private business



Pushing on with its effort to open its economy to market forces, the

Cuban government Thursday legalized the business of renting out public

bathrooms, providing fixed prices for five categories of facilities.

A pilot rent-a-toilet program, which was started in 2011 in Havana

province, now has been expanded to the entire island.

It allows the rental of state-owned bathrooms to private persons who

hold government licenses as "public bathroom attendants" — one of 182

categories of self employment permitted by the government.

Details of the change were contained in a seven-page resolution signed

by Minister of the Economy and Planning Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez and

published in the latest edition of the Official Gazette.

Cuban President Raúl Castro has been pushing to make the island's

Soviet-styled economy more efficient, largely by allowing more private

enterprise and cutting government spending and payrolls, since he

officially succeeded brother Fidel in 2008.

The number of public bathrooms in Cuba is unknown. Most are presumed to

be in cities and towns, and many are known to be in dire condition.

The price for using a toilet, urinal or washbasin will be one Cuban

peso, or about four U.S. cents, according to the regulations. Prices for

additional services such as "perfumes, talcum powders, cosmetics, soap,

showers, among others, are set by supply and demand," although the

renters must notify the municipalities of the services they offer.

Renters must pay for the water and electricity used at residential rates

and guarantee "quality, hygiene and good customer service," the

regulations added. Toilet facilities cannot be subleased or used for any

other activity.

The complicated process require technicians from communal services

departments of municipal governments, working with current bathroom

attendants, to study the activity at each site in order to establish its

potential revenue.

Monitors must then write and sign reports listing the location, date,

time of start and end of study, number of people who used the bathroom,

pesos collected and other services offered. The reports go to the

municipalities and local tax offices.

Rents will be pegged to expected revenues, although the first year's

payments will be forgiven "as a stimulus to guarantee the improvement of

the bathrooms and their hygiene," according to the regulations.

Based on the technicians' reports, each bathroom will be placed in one

of five categories, with those that bring in less than 69 pesos daily in

the lowest category and those whose revenues top 259 pesos a day in the

highest category.

Rents will be charged accordingly.

Source: "Cuba legalizes rent-a-toilets in its effort to expand private

business – Cuba –" –

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