Plaza Guanabacoa State Agriculture & Livestock store. Photo: Ismael Batista

Santa Clara.– To the extent that conditions in the country permit, wholesale markets will be established to attend to the needs of the private sector and non-state forms of management, with steps already taken toward this end by the Ministry of Finance and Prices, National Tax Authority and import-export entities, explained Mary Blanca Ortega Barredo, Minister of Domestic Trade (Mincin).
The sustainability of such markets depends on having a stable supply of goods – she stated – without which it is not worth opening them. New regulations have been established to create other wholesale distribution options including a 20% discount for purchases by cooperatives and self-employed workers and a 30% concession on replacement parts as part of the energy saving program.
The Minister, who presided the national act in honor of sector workers, noted that to date repairs to 64.8% of the over 2,600 retail, gastronomy and service facilities which were damaged by Hurricane Irma, have been completed thanks to the hard work of staff and government support.
She also highlighted that 1,100 rations stores affected by the storm have been restored, a process which these bodegas moved to different locations, including homes, in order to continue offering services to the population; while 77% of wholesale warehouses that suffered damage has also been repaired.
Proof of the concerted efforts and commitment of sector workers during this stage, commented Ortega Barredo, was the production of over seven million units of subsidized rations for victims of the hurricane, and assistance offered almost 108,000 persons at hardware stores.