More than 220 thousand pesos in fines for “abusive prices” in Havana

More than 220 thousand pesos in fines for “abusive prices” in Havana

HAVANA, March 31. A total of 227 thousand pesos in fines was imposed by the Ministry of Finance and Prices (MFP) after touring several municipalities in search of “abusive prices” in Havana. According to the MFP in a Facebook post, 46 fines were applied during a recent tour of the municipalities of Old Havana, Habana del Este, Guanabacoa, Playa and Plaza de la Revolución.

The ministry details that, of them, 31 correspond to what is established in Decree 30, which establishes “the personal contraventions, sanctions, measures and procedures to be applied for the violation of the rules that govern the price and rate policy.”

Likewise, specialists in that field detected “deficiencies” such as non-visible prices, alterations in them and sale of products in unauthorized places.

The decree, approved in 2021, considers abusive prices “those whose growth is above a reasonable range, compared to similar products or within the same product family, and that seek to achieve an excessive level of utility or profit.”

In addition, it indicates among the sanctions the fine is the main one, although it can end in confiscation, forced sale and the obligation to do so.

Cuba is going through an economic crisis among the worst in recent years, in monetary chaos in an environment of inflation, scarcity and dollarization.

The year-on-year inflation of the Cuban formal market stood at 32.08% in February, according to official sources. This figure is slightly higher than that registered in January (31.69%), although 12 percentage points below that of the same month of the previous year (44.50%), according to the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI).

This entity, recalls the EFE agency, does not reflect the evolution of prices in the majority and best-stocked informal market on the island, which is more inflationary due to the lack of regulation and shortages. For this reason, the inflation figures in the latter remain a mystery.

In the last twelve months, the Cuban currency has gone from 180 CUP per dollar in the informal market to more than 320 CUP, a depreciation of almost 80%, according to the exchange rate prepared by unofficial platforms and media, which, Although criticized by the Government, they serve as a reference for experts and the population itself.

Cuba has been going through a serious economic crisis for three years, exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, United States sanctions and internal inefficiencies and difficulties.

This situation has repercussions on the growing shortage of basic products (such as food, medicine and fuel), as well as the partial dollarization of the economy, the depreciation of the peso, frequent blackouts and a sharp increase in prices.