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HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba has plans to split the province of Havana into two provinces in a move to make local government more efficient, state-run media said on Tuesday.

The division would cut travel distances for provincial employees, make services more accessible and add local political clout by giving each province its own capital, said Granma, newspaper of the ruling Communist Party.

The idea, hatched by the Cuban government and awaiting approval by the national parliament, appears to be part of President Raul Castro's drive to improve the country's productivity.

The two provinces, which have been proposed by the national government and await approval by the Cuban parliament, would be called Mayabeque and Artemisa, the newspaper reported.

Havana province's capital is Havana, even though it only surrounds the city and does not include it because the city is its own province.

Havana province, population 747,000, is the country's biggest agricultural producer and an important manufacturing centre.

The split would increase the number of provinces in Cuba by one, to 15.

(Reporting by Jeff Franks; Editing by Chris Wilson)

Source:  Reuters

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