President Díaz-Canel commented on the issue via Twitter, noting the people’s participation in identifying changes needed, and insisting, “No one among us can do as much as all of us together.” Photo: Twitter

The adjusting of some aspects of the self-employment policy reflects the political will of the government to continue developing this new form of economic management, and to listen to the opinions of the people, collective intelligence, said Marta Elena Feitóra Cabrera, first deputy minister of Labor and Social Security (MTSS).

In statements to the Cuban press, she said that these changes are denoted in two regulations published in the Extraordinary Official Gazette No. 77, of December 5, resolutions No.24, of the MTSS, and No. 904, from the Ministry of Finance and Prices (MFP).

A monitoring of the comments posted on social media and web pages reveals a very favorable view, although doubts remain about implementation, for which information channels will be maintained for the population, both in local and national media, she stated.The deputy minister clarified that there are now four modifications, but another group of opinions will continue to be assessed with a view toward continuing to improve self-employment, “which since 2010 has gone through several processes, always in favor of the development of this form of management,” she said, noting approval of the special Social Security regimen and the extension of permission to hire workers to all activities.Referring to the lack of capacity limits for bars/recreational services, restaurants and cafeterias, she clarified that neither the authority or the governmental level, responsible for determining this, has been identified.The deputy minister stressed that despite the changes made in the MFP's amending resolution, doubts remain associated with the opening and operation of commercial bank accounts, and to address these, pertinent officials will make further clarifications in the near future.

Regarding ambulatory agricultural produce vendors, she reiterated that only authorization of new licenses remains suspended, that those with valid licenses may continue working, since this activity is not only a source of employment but is especially helpful to older adults who live far from markets or have limited mobility.

She stated, however, that action must be taken against those who in an illegal, unscrupulous manner, resell items at exorbitant prices and violate tax laws.

The deputy minister reiterated that those working as assistants in educational attention and child care must have health licenses issued by the Ministry of Public Health and meet specific requirements, which are constantly reviewed by this agency and the Ministry of Education, given the impact on the care of children.The stipulation that bookkeepers do not work in the state sector remains in effect, since this category was developed to provide services for the self-employed, which involves simpler calculations, far removed from what is required in the accounting systems of the country’s enterprises.A recurring theme for the self-employed is the need for a wholesale market, she noted, which has not been possible to provide at this time given the country’s current economic and financial condition, adding that the re-opened process of authorizing licenses has begun without overcrowding, and that the Ministry’s municipal offices have conditions in place to receive those who arrive with the necessary documents in hand.At the end of October, 588,916 persons nationwide were registered as self-employed, representing 13% of the workforce, undoubtedly a complement to work at state enterprises.