Havana, Cuba, Dec 16.- Cuba’s Minister for Planning and the Economy, Marino Murillo, informed on Wednesday in this capital that the country’s economy gained in organization in 2010, which shows the efforts made by the nation amid the crisis affecting the world today.
Nevertheless, while addressing participants in the 6th period of sessions of the Parliament’s 7th Legislature and in the presence of President Raul Castro, Murillo, who is also a Vice-president, referred to the inadequacies of the national economy, mainly deficiencies in food production, investments and the replacement of imports, among others.
He informed deputies that the Gross Domestic Product increased, as well as work productivity (by 4.2 percent) and average earnings (4.4), which he defined as good symptoms to achieve greater economic efficiency.
We had been trying to solve this problem for several years and now we’re rather close to equilibrium, a situation that should improve in 2011, with the reduction of excess workers in payrolls, he stressed.
Murillo pointed out that exports increased by 41.5 percent and that incomes could have been higher if it weren’t for failures to comply with the production of exportable lines, like nickel and sugar, in which the country couldn’t take advantage of favorable prices, above predictions, in the international market.
This represented 120 million dollars in the case of nickel and 65 millions in the case of sugar that the country couldn’t obtain, he said.
He criticized the lack of control and foresight, in addition to the improvisation that still prevails in the country’s investment plan, and urged to eliminate stubbornness in this activity.
He commented that electric power consumption has been kept slightly under plans in the state sector, while there’s still excess of consumption in the residential one for which measures are adopted, like the increase of rates for people who don’t save energy.
The Minister for Planning and the Economy referred to the existence in the country of a rather stable internal financial balance, while liquidity in the hands of the population didn’t increase and it’s slightly below desired figures.
While commenting on the results of production in the country, he underlined that there are institutions and sectors –like agriculture- that are not meeting the general plan which led to the need of carrying out imports that were not planned, worth 63 million dollars.
He recalled that, although there have been droughts, climatological problems and other imponderables, there was also lack of organization and precaution as well as improvisation, which had a bearing on the shortfall in food production coming from the land.
He gave rice as an example, in the program of which there’s no comprehensive planning, adding that therefore the availability of this product doesn’t meet the demand and the country has to resort to imports.
If we don’t solve the problem of efficiency in the investment sector and we don’t increase that of agriculture, the Sugar Ministry and the production of goods, we won’t be able to achieve the fulfillment of any economic plan in 2011, he said sententiously.
Murillo answered questions made by several deputies, like the one referred to the collection of payments for electrical appliances distributed to the population –as part of the Energy Revolution-, and in this regard he was categorical in pointing out that the country should recover that money.
With respect to sales of construction materials for the housing program, another aspect commented during the Parliament’s session, he responded that he policy will be to subsidize persons or families of low salary incomes and not products, like blocks and sand.
On Tuesday, deputies debated on the proposal to update the tax policy, among other topics. (acn)