The Cuban government has decided to allow non-state enterprises to contract workers and will continue the process of creating more flexible regulations on self employment.

The decision was released at a meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 14 chaired by President Raul Castro, according to Cuban Television.

Since October, 2010, a total of 180,000 people have been granted business licences.
At the meeting, the Cuban President said that the rearrangement of labour forces needs time for preparation to ensure no resident became unemployed.

Cuba plans to lay off 1.3 million workers in state-owned factories and agencies in the next five years, the meeting said.

Participants at the get-together agreed that newly established non-state enterprises are yet to have the capacity to employ all redundant labourers in the state-owned sector.

Therefore, with the extension plan for the non-state economic sector, Cuba expected to create 1.5 million jobs in years to come.

The meeting underlined the need to update the national economic plan in 2011, due to increasing food and material prices in the world market, which forced Cuba to spend an additional 800 million USD to import essential goods this year.

The move is part of guidelines detailed at a document approved at the seventh National Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in April, named “Socio-Economic Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution” ./.