Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cuban legislature to debate tax reform

Cuban legislature to debate tax reform
July 15, 2012

Cuba: Cuba's National Assembly plans to discuss tax reform at its
semiannual meeting on July 23 to weigh changes set out by President Raul
Castro, official media said Saturday.

After half a century without paying taxes, many Cubans now have tax
obligations under reforms approve by Castro that leave more room to
private initiatives.

"The Cuban tax system is among issues expected to be discussed at the
ninth regular session" of the assembly in order to replace the current
law adopted in 1994, the official newspaper Granma reported.

The Americas' only Communist government plans to gradually implement
taxes on property, wages and utilities, such as gas and sewerage.

Castro, who took over from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006, has
launched some modest reforms seeking to improve the island's inefficient
overwhelmingly centrally planned economy.

So far, however, president has not opted for a major systemic overhaul
-- toward market-oriented capitalism -- for the country's stangnant
economy. Cuba has little international access to credit, mainly from its
key regional ally Venezuela.

Nearly 400,000 Cubans are now self-employed in the country's private
sector, an increase of almost 150 percent since it opened up its economy
in 2010. The sales of cars and houses -- banned for half a century --
are now allowed.
The average salary in Cuba is under 20 dollars a month.

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