In a move that shows Cuba’s continued drift toward the shores of a freer market economy, the government has allowed for loans for starting private enterprises as well as much-needed improvements to their housing stock.
Cuba Si is reporting that the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) provided loans to 50,000 Cubans in the first half of 2012 for private businesses and house construction, BCC President Ernesto Medina says.
In a report to Parliament on Thursday, Medina said 49,924 loans amounting to some 347 million pesos (about 14.5 million U.S.dollars) helped Cubans repair or build houses to relieve a housing shortage in the island nation.
Cuban farmers received about 130 million pesos in credit in the first half of 2012, Medina said.
Bank loans have become available to individuals since December as part of Cuban leader Raul Castro’s program to modernize the country’s socialist economy.
Medina’s report came ahead of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power that awaits for its first of the two regular annual sessions on July 23.