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Government sets price ceiling for private businesses

Government sets price ceiling for private businessesHAVANA, Cuba, Jul 24 (ACN) After enjoying the news about the wage increase, the inhabitants of the eastern Cuban city of Las Tunas welcome another information that for a few years have been waiting: the setting of price ceiling on products sold by private businesses.

According to local media, the Board of Directors of the province, topped up the prices for pork, drinks, beer, malt, orange or lemon juice and other foods such as pizzas and bread and pork and bread and ham, among others.

In order to enforce the provisions of the Governing Council, a working group was set up and telephone numbers were published through which the population can communicate to convey any concerns.

A malt, which was sold for 30 pesos (1.25 USD) in private outlets, has to be sold at 20 pesos (0,80 USD); a 1.5-liter soft drink costs 10 pesos less than it was; and a Bucanero beer, that was going for for 35 or 40 pesos, has a top price of 30 pesos. The government sells those products at lower prices in its retail stores, and private businesses are adding up to 60 percent markup, a situation these measures aim at stopping.

But what the locals enjoy the most is the offer of pork, because in different parts of the city is sold at $25 pesos (1 USD) per pound, instead of 35 as it was marketed days ago.

The measure responds to a popular concern and to the words of Miguel Diaz-Canel, president of the Councils of State and Ministers, reiterating that the wage increase does not lead to higher prices of products.

Esteban Antonio Massó, retired, spoke to ACN the fairness of the measure, because the high prices set in private businesses, were not affordable to everyone; now the picture changes, it is a reasonable measure.

Driver Oscar Hernandez said that some will not heed warnings, they announce in a poster the price of the products, as approved by the Board of Directors, but when you proceed to purchase them they change the price, as happened in the market of Bonachea, in the city of Las Tunas.

It is true that some self-employed workers violate the disposition of the Board of Directors, but in a general sense it is being complied with, especially in pork, an indispensable food on the table of Cubans, said retired professor Candida Villamar, who these days requested to rejoin the educational system.

Regarding the agreement of the Board of Directors, several self-employed workers told ACN that in order to definitively solve the problem of prices, it is essential to open a wholesale market, while others talked a shortage of raw materials to make the food they sell.

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