Yzquierdo, who said the increase will result from productive activities in the sectors of construction and industries, announced that Cuba will boost exports and reduce imports, depending on the possibilities of the national industry. In addition, priority will be given to the production of food.
Other actions planned for the year include achieving greater efficiency in the consumption of energy, and backing the commercialization of agricultural and livestock consumables and construction materials.
During the meeting, Castro analyzed the directives to design the Plan and Budget for 2013, which is being discussed earlier than usual this year, and taking into account the guidelines governing the country’s economic policy.
Speaking on the state budget, the Minister of Finance and Prices, Lina Pedraza Rodriguez, noted that the plan financially backs the levels of activity envisaged in the Economy Plan and is in correspondence with the directives issued for its elaboration.
After her presentation, the Council of Ministers approved the directives proposed for the elaboration of the Plan and Budget for 2013.
Later on, the vice president of the Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo, announced the results of a study on the situation of the Ministry of Agriculture and a proposal to improve its work, structure and composition.
In this regard, he said that actions and measures implemented to improve the unfavourable financial-economic condition of this ministry have not been enough.
Murillo also referred to a plan passed for the experimental creation of cooperatives outside the agricultural and livestock sector, in tune with 36 of the guidelines approved during the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.
Afterwards, Leonardo Andollo Valdes, deputy chief of the Standing Commission for Implementation and Development, referred to a proposal for streamlining the Ministry of Informatics and Communications, the first step of which would be the separation of state and business duties in this sector.
Before the end of the meeting, Castro introduced Division General Samuel Rodiles Planas as the new president of the Institute of Physical Planning and highlighted the important role this institution should play in reestablishing order and discipline regarding urban development violations.
Castro had begun the expanded meeting of the Cuban Council of Ministers congratulating the Cuban people for their participation in, support of, and respect showed during the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI.