Cuban Ministers Review Economic Performance

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Cuba’s Council of Ministers, headed by President Raúl Castro Ruz met yesterday, to discuss a report on economic performance authored by Marino Murillo Jorge, Minister of Economy and Planning. The Minister’s report presented an analysis on economic performance for the first half of 2016 and the forecast for the rest of the year.

Also on the meeting agenda were discussions and analysis of recent health alerts, subsidized housing construction, crime and corruption.

Murillo discussed the existing limitations of the economy and moves to expand profitability and replace imports. The Council of Ministers is seeking opportunities for increased savings and productivity.

Lina Pedraza Rodríguez, the Minister of Finances and Prices presented the final 2015 budget analysis and results which is to be submitted to the National Assembly of People’s Power for sign off.

Her report demonstrated that budget targets were achieved with 54% of total costs expenditures concentrated in the areas of education, health and social assistance.

The budget for total subsidized housing construction funds for the year 2015 amounted to 1.1 billion pesos of which 809 million pesos were used to benefit more than 16,400 persons. However there were delays in fund distribution at year end. She indicated, “that provincial and municipal bodies must speed up this process.”

The fiscal deficit for the year reached 5.55 billion pesos, below the limit approved, representing a total 6.1% of the Gross Domestic Product.

Also discussed at the Council of Ministers meeting where issues of criminal behavior and corruption as recorded for the year 2015.

The Council of Ministers also took a look at recent health alerts such as the Zika virus, dengue and Chikungunya, largely due to serious mosquito infestations in certain areas. Roberto Morales Ojeda, the minister of Public Health reported that Cuba continues to take action to these health alerts with a high level of cooperation. Campaigns of public awareness on the issue, health checks at airports, as well as the fumigation of areas of mosquito infestation to prevent the spread of an epidemic have been conducted.

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