President announces changes in State of Nation Speech


President Nicolás Maduro has made a number of organisational changes as part of his State of the Nation 2014 speech which was delivered yesterday.

The president announced that the Foreign Exchange Administration Commission (Cadivi) will be abolished and its functions will be moved to the National Foreign Trade Corporation. The new head of the corporation will be Alejandro Fleming.

The president also announced that José Khan would be the new Minister of Commerce. However, he reaffirmed that Rafael Ramírez will remain as Vice-President for Economic Affairs as well as Minister of Petroleum and Mining and president of the state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

In his speech the president outlined the merger of the Public Banking Ministry and the Ministry of Finance. Marco Torres will become the new Minister of Finance and Nelson Merentes will take up his old post as President of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV).

The president made additional changes to the way in which goods and services are handled.

The Institute for the Defense of People’s Access to Goods and Services (Indepabis) and the National Superintendence of Costs and Prices (Sundecop) are to be merged into the Superintendence of Fair Prices and will be headed up by Andreína Tarazón.

A new law, the Law on Costs and Fair Prices, is to be enacted soon, said the president, and it will set the regulations for a 30% profit ceiling on all economic activities.

The foreign exchange rate for the Bolivar is set to remain at Bolivar (VEB) 6.30 to the US dollar but the “Supplementary System Administration of Foreign Exchange (SICAD)” Sicad, the foreign exchange auction system which sells the Bolivar at 11.3 to the US dollar is to be broadened.

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