April 15, 1999
Cuba dissolves ministry in government streamlining

                  HAVANA (Reuters) -- Cuba said on Thursday it was dissolving the
                  Construction Materials Ministry as part of efforts to reduce the size of
                  central government.

                  The move reduced to 26 the number of government ministries on the
                  communist-ruled Caribbean island.

                  A decree law released by the Council of State said most of the
                  responsibilities and resources of the dissolved ministry would be taken on by
                  the Construction Ministry, which is responsible for actual construction

                  But cement production was being taken over by the Basic Industry Ministry.

                  The decree law, published by the Communist Party daily Granma, made no
                  mention of lay-offs of workers.

                  Cuba's government has announced programs to restructure both central
                  government and state industry as part of ongoing economic reforms.

                  But at the same time, it has insisted that this restructuring will follow socialist
                  principles and that laid- off workers will be either relocated in other jobs or
                  retrained and will be financially supported until this occurs.

                     Copyright 1999 Reuters.