Cuba turns over barber shops and beauty salons to employees
The measure marks the first time state-run retail establishments have been handed over to employees since they were nationalised under Fidel Castro in 1968.
Barbers and hairdressers will now rent the space where they work and pay taxes instead of receiving a monthly wage, and will be able to charge market prices.
In Cuba the state controls more than 90 per cent of economic activity and the measure may signal the start of a long-expected privatisation drive by President Raul Castro, who took over from his elder brother more than two years ago.
The new policy, which began this month, applies to beauty salons and barber shops with three or fewer seats.
It has not been officially announced by the Cuban government or mentioned by state-run media.