As Infobae announced, President Alberto Fernández assured that on Monday he will sign a decree of necessity and urgency in which he will grant the mayors of different cities across the country the authority for the application of the law of defense of competition and thus be able to control the increase in prices in local businesses.
“With that DNU, What we are going to achieve is that the mayors have the power to apply the antitrust law and to sanction those places directly.“Said the president during an interview with the blog The rocket to the Moon, regarding the amendment that will apply to the existing Competition Defense Law.
“It really is not that I, as a national state, do not want to find them. They are difficult to find. Sometimes they are very small businesses that are in the names of a monotributista, that you do not even know that there is a business there.”
Resolution 100 of the Ministry of Commerce had ordered to roll back the prices of 2,300 products to the values of March 6. However, while the large chains did their part, numerous inspectors registered increases of up to 30% in some products in local stores in different neighborhoods.
“Why were the large hypermarkets able to sustain prices when they were not exactly children of socialism? Why could they and the small one not? Because it is full of small merchants who speculate on the needs of their neighbors and charge them what they do not have to charge them. That also happens. That happens a lot. And the fact that it is small does not make it less ambitious and that must be corrected, ”said the president during the interview.
Until now, there was a short circuit between the government’s letters to prevent prices from rising wildly in small businesses and in the ability to control and sanction by local authorities. In fact, the response of the mayors to the problem of increases was that they were tied hands, they could not comply with the law in that regard.
“The Mayor can see the health conditions in the business, can see that hygiene conditions are met. But the truth is that it is not in a position to control prices. So we are giving you the powers now. Y I hope that now we are inflexible, because they will have the instrument they needed to act“Said the president.
From the Ministry of Commerce, it was reported that the excessive increases were detected through five operations carried out in different types of shops (Chinese supermarkets, warehouses, large chain express stores and wholesalers). In those inspections It was found that Ledesma sugar and Gallo Oro rice had been the two products that suffered the greatest increase during the month of March, with an increase of 48.21% and 40.81%, respectively.
For his part, Alberto Fernández also made reference to the possibility of a reduction in the salaries of public officials, as requested by various representatives of Together for Change last Monday, by means of a letter written to him.
Likewise, the president warned that he saw “much more reasonable” the bill headed by Máximo Kirchner, in which it is proposed to apply an exceptional tax collection to those entrepreneurs who benefited from money laundering through a decree signed by former President Mauricio Macri in 2017.
“(Máximo Kirchner’s bill) has a better logic, which is to help those who have won the most or who have benefited the most with a laundering, after defrauding the State by not paying taxes. Why This is how the system works, that silver that is obtained in black, that is never declared because it is obtained illegally, that goes to a tax haven and that one day is laundered without anyone asking how it was made.”Fernández stated during the interview.
And he completed: “It is much more reasonable to ask them than to ask Carla Vizzotti for an effort, who earns 150 thousand pesos and is all day on the street watching how to fight the coronavirus.”
The project to be presented by Máximo Kirchner would also propose a cap for the profits of large supermarkets. This would be done according to a calculation based on a turnover percentage of between 2.5% and 4%.
At the same time, the implementation of the collection of another exceptional tax is also analyzed for those legislators who have declared assets that exceed 20 million pesos.
Fernández also referred to banks and their relationship with small merchants. During the interview, he warned that he spoke with the president of the Central Bank, Miguel Pesce, to warn him that you cannot have as much patience with banking entities, which hinder companies’ access to credit lines at a negative rate, as the government ordered. .
“Not that the president’s patience runs out. Companies run out of patience, they cannot pay their salaries“, he claimed.