Havana, Feb 11 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Government is paying close attention to public opinion, resulting in rectifications and changes in the measures taken in the heat of the so-called Overhaul Task.
It has happened since December 2020, when the Official Gazette published more than 100 legal standards to back up this complex program, which came into force on January 1, when such measures as the currency unification and an official exchange rate of 24 Cuban pesos to the US dollar were implemented.
‘We had to eliminate the overvaluation of the peso to the dollar and the functioning of two exchange rates from the economy,’ said Marino Murillo, head of the Commission for Implementation and Development of the Guidelines of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) for the socioeconomic strategy by 2030.
The elimination of gratuities and subsidies, changes in salaries and pensions, as well as a reform of upward prices of products and services also started, in addition to other transformations that involve all stockholders and productive sectors in Cuba.
I don’t think that there is a person who, somehow, has nothing to do with the Overhaul Task, Murillo said on the Mesa Redonda (Round Table) radio and TV program on Wednesday.
The Overhaul Task had been postponed despite being approved by the two last PCC congresses, whose eighth meeting is scheduled for April.
Its implementation now takes place at a time of great complexity and limitation caused by the tightening of the United States blockade, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world economic crisis and the drastic decrease in hard currencies in the national economy.
Since it was announced and implemented, the Overhaul Task was accompanied by the people’s criteria and concerns, heeded and analyzed by the Cuban Parliament, the State and the Government, with the will to review and change everything that should be changed, always without modifying its essence.
That was proved in the recent visits made by President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was accompanied by top government officials, to all 15 Cuban provinces and the Isla de la Juventud special municipality.
During those working visits, faults and failures to prevent problems associated to the execution of the Overhaul Task were rectified on the basis of citizens’ complaints.
As a result of those meetings and analyses, the prices of electricity, domestic gas, elderly houses and diners of Family Care System (SAF, in Spanish), which provides care to more than 76,000 vulnerable people, among other basic sensitive services, were modified.
One of the rectifications was the reduction in medication prices, so the State’s subsidy increased by 47 million pesos.
It is a process that is under way, so decentralized wholesale, agricultural and retail prices are under revision, as well as people’s complaints about the new salaries.
Murillo informed about the reevaluation of vulnerable families and SAF beneficiaries.
In that regard, there are pending issues, such as the redefinition of pensions and some special social security regimes, whose amount does not equals the value of the benchmark basket and affects mainly widows.
The Overhaul Task has just started and needs adjustments, but it already shows some results. Just a month after its elimination, 50 percent of Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) have been recalled and the remaining bills will be circulating until June 30.