Caracas, October 16 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 30 percent increase of the country's minimum wage and food stamps on Thursday in a Bolivar state speech. The increase will be implemented on November 1st. This is the fourth minimum wage increase this year, and the 30th minimum wage increase over the last 15 years. According to Maduro, Venezuela's minimum wage has nearly doubled over the last year, which is higher than the level of inflation. “In times of capitalism and liberalism, inflation rose to 100 percent and there was still no minimum wage increase," said Maduro. Maduro made his announcement from the Sidor steel plant in Bolivar state, Venezuela's largest steel corporation. The company was privatized in 1997 under then President Rafael Caldera, and then re-nationalized by former President Hugo Chavez in 2008. During his speech, Maduro criticized the privatizations by past governments and fiscal adjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund. In particular, he commented on the release of a recording of a call between the president of Venezuela's largest beer manufacturer and a Venezuelan Harvard economics professor who are looking to implement a “fiscal adjustment plan for Venezuela” with loans from the IMF and World Bank.
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