Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

On Costs, Earnings

FL0807143288 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 8 Jul 88

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC Central
Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, is
presiding over the third meeting of Havana enterprises, Journalist Oscar
Suarez gives us this report from the Karl Marx Theatre.

The third meeting of Havana enterprises, during the first day of sessions,
was directed at analysis of costs in activities of enterprises.  The idea
of obtaining earnings without keeping in mind costs by the producers is a
fatal error in socialism.  This idea, expressed in colloquial terms, means
that at times we spend pesos to produce centavos.  These concepts were
affirmed in the experiences shared by the leaders of the tuna fleet and the
national shipyard enterprise.  Commander in Chief Fidel Castro used those
examples to show that socialism does not aspire to sell in order to
accumulate earnings but rather to satisfy the needs of society.

[Begin Castro recording in progress] ...the "emperador", and I am very
familiar with those accounts because of my role in looking for equipment
for the minibrigades, construction, water conservation, and other things.
I want you to know, and I will tell you a few stories, that approximately
250 tons gave about $1 million, which was invested in construction
equipment.  There was no other way of buying those items, the ones which
remained after the [words indistinct] They were sold at very high prices,
for almost $4,000, it was all invested in construction equipment.  We
thought that was too (?fine) for even the most outstanding workers to use.

Then we decided to let them eat tuna, which is what we are giving them,
already canned.  As a matter of fact it is a very versatile product, and
since it is already canned, it makes it easier.  Sometimes, when a brigade
does not have refrigeration or anything else, we send them canned tuna.
Look at the good use we are making of that tuna you are catching.  Even if
it wasn't very profitable directly, indirectly it could be very profitable
for the country.  We do not (?know) how much it costs to give tuna to
thousands or tens of thousands of workers, to give it to them in three or
four rations per month.  I am explaining this because I think that we are
getting a lot of use out of the tuna you are catching there in the fleet.
To the tourists, to whom we well it in dollars, we give the (emperador)
fish, which accompanies the tuna.  You know what we did this year?  We
needed to have provisions for many of the construction worker forces.  We
took that tuna; we didn't exchange it this year for construction equipment.
Some 200 tons of tuna were exchanged for almost 1,000 tons of chicken. [end

Another aspect to point out is that although a high level of efficiency was
achieved in production or in equipment repair, in this case the repair of
ship equipment, the costs for this have been so high that production has
shown losses due to weak controls over costs and the lack of economic
training among the workers.  A lesson on economics, accounting, and costs
was given by our Commander in Chief Fidel.

[Begin Castro recording]  The cost of a project is its total sum.  It is
the cost which is being paid for fuel, materials, pipes, cement, iron rods,
wood, and everything that was used for it.  The work force and its salaries
must also be included.  That is what should make up the cost of a project.

Another thing to consider is the budget.  The budget could be 24 million
[currency not specified] and the enterprise can say, well with the
estimates it had it distributes it [words indistinct].  Earnings have
turned here into the index, and not the costs.

What we really have to look at here are costs.  I don't want to say that
the value which is given to a project is what it costs.  Logically, a
project has a higher value than what it cost.  If you want to use the
budget, you can go ahead and use that.  You can say that this enterprise
has contributed so much to the state. (?When) we stop using as a basis all
those dumb things about the social economic funds, which could not be
invested, that was madness.  In order to award workers, there must be a
concept of earnings.  If there is only a concept of efficiency, then I say
these workers have worked efficiently.  Let's reward them.  yes, you can
reward them; rewards are not excluded.  In no way are incentives excluded.
In no way is the socialist formula excluded.  But I am convinced that
earnings cannot be... [changes thought]  We will turn into (?shoddy?
capitalists with this idea of earnings, earnings [repeats himself].  We
should be more educated regarding the idea of costs.  How much did it cost,
and what is the value of what we have produced.  How much wealth is a
workers collective contributing to society?  Guided by that concept, no one
used to be concerned about costs.  No one.  [end recording]