HAVANA TIMES – In their mid-year session, the Cuban Parliament, which usually holds two brief sessions a year, delved into the problems of poorly administered state enterprises – principally agricultural – and proposed shaking off the dead weight of their repeated losses and unsuccessful plans.
The hottest debates were held in two permanent commissions: Economic Affairs and Agriculture/Food. These are also the commissions that most affect the daily life of Cubans.
As the State has increased its supervision of economic activity in Cuba, the legislators have become more and more critical of the errors, negligence and illegal activity that have been exposed.
For the moment, Deputy Armando Utrera, vice president of the Economic Affairs Commission informed that 123 state enterprises ended the year 2014 in the red. Of these, 87 were scheduled to realize a profit but actually registered millions in losses.
Of the 56 entities guilty of sustained losses since 2012, it was no surprise to learn that 73 percent of these belonged to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Proposals for solving the huge problems posed were heard, and it was decided that they would close 24 of the companies with sustained losses in their accounts; another 26 hope to recuperate over the course of this year; and the remaining six will receive “protective accounting” until 2016.
It was not mentioned what will happen to the workers of the 24 businesses to be closed nor how many are involved.
According to the investigations realized by the deputies in 34 municipalities of Las Tunas, Holguín, Havana and Sancti Spiritus, there are enterprises without the control guidelines from the Comptroller’s, nor have the workers been informed of their contents. They make payments with no support in products and also show hiring irregularities, all of which can facilitate illegal activity.
Another entity under the deputies’ laser is the Azcuba Group that also has five failing enterprises. As vice president Armando Ultrera indicated, the fiscal reviews held by the legislators revealed companies operating without any approved performance plan.
The legislators considered these deficiencies to be unacceptable. They noted that it was impossible to think about sustained development while such problems existed.
They also insisted that we should take into account the role of the defaulting entities and the negative impact of their losses on the population’s ability to satisfy their basic needs.
An intervention that was especially lauded by the rest of the legislators was that of Giraldo Martin from Jovellanos, Matanzas, who reflected on “the grave problems of agriculture: its organization; the decapitalization of its enterprises; the insufficient training of personnel; and the poor application of the scientific research produced by the country.”
The commissions finished their discussions on Monday and will report their conclusions to the plenary session on July 15.