Cuba will unveil new private sector regulations imminently: Granma

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba will soon publish the long-expected new regulations for its embryonic private sector and unfreeze the issuance of licenses at the end of the year, the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma reported late on Monday.

  • FILE PHOTO – Workers prepare tobacco leaves at a tobacco factory in Cuba’s western province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
  • The Cuban government suspended the issuance of licenses for 27 of the 201 occupations it allows in the private sector nearly a year ago, while deliberating how to improve what it prefers to calls “self-employment” and curb malpractices like tax evasion.

    Granma reported that the official gazette would publish “today” 20 legal norms bundled into several decrees, as well as 14 complementary resolutions, to regulate the private sector. The regulations have not yet appeared on the gazette’s website.

    “The content of the norms responds on the one hand to the requests of the self-employed workers, and on the other hand they include regulations to perfect the practice and oversight of the activities,” Granma said.

    The regulations will become effective “from 150 days of publication in the gazette” – meaning in December, giving authorities time to figure out how to implement them, it said.

    The newspaper reported the government would then reissue licenses for the 27 activities it had frozen, which include some of the most popular and lucrative ones like a bed-and-breakfast business or a restaurant.

    The number of self-employed Cubans has nearly quadrupled to 591,456, about 13 percent of the total workforce, since former President Raul Castro in 2010 launched his plan to cut the bloated state payroll and expand private enterprise.

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