Marino Murillo

Urban cooperatives and a new investments law are expected

By Elsa Claro and Manuel Alberto Ramy

HAVANA – (Progreso Semanal/Radio Progreso Alternativa)– December 23 will see the start of the 10th Regular Session of the Seventh Legislature (2012). The deputies were summoned publicly on Friday through an official note from the General Assembly’s chairman, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada.

Among the laws that presumably will be discussed and approved is the long-awaited bill that provides for the creation of urban cooperatives not linked to the gastronomic sector. The reasons for this expectation are twofold.

One is a statement made to the media on March 27 by Marino Murillo, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, member of the Politburo of the Communist Party, and official in charge of changing the economy.

During a press conference at the National Hotel, Murillo said that “we are working on a new law-decree that will allow the operation of cooperatives in non-agricultural activities,” clearly referring to the urban cooperatives. He also said that legislators were drafting the regulations for non-agricultural cooperatives and confirmed that the nation’s policy is going in that direction.

“We’re giving priority to the cooperative forms” of production, Murillo said. Of the 313 guidelines approved during the Sixth Party Congress in April 2011, 36 were directed at this form of production in the urban sector, he added.

The other hint that this law will be passed was made by Murillo during the parliamentary sessions in June. “We are opening spaces for private activity,” he said. “The State should manage only the essential activities.”

Another expected law is the new Investments Act, which was also announced months ago. The concesions to a Brazilian company, a subsidiary of Odebrecht, to manage the 5 September sugar mill in the province of Cienfuegos, and to a British subsidiary to build a power plant in the Ciro Redondo sugar mill in Ciego de Ávila province are the first evidence of that legislation.

And perhaps the new law on immigration will broaden the benefits for all Cubans, no matter where they live.

In sum, the parliamentary session in December could bring good news as a farewell to 2012 and a welcome to 2013, the year when the new tax law will take effect.

Progreso Semanal/ Weekly authorizes the total or partial reproduction of the articles by our journalists, so long as source and author are identified.

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