Minister Kulfas made a list of the first 1,000 companies in a position to resume activity. It remains to convince the “sanitary wing” of the Government
For the first time since the quarantine began, Alberto Fernández he has on his desk a concrete plan to reopen key sectors of the industry. The initiative was approached by the minister Matías Kulfas: It consists of the reopening of 1,000 industries -between medium and large-, which have been stopped for a month and a half.
The decision will be made by the President himself before next weekend, when this phase of quarantine is over and the head of state must announce how the restrictions will continue and if there will be any type of flexibilization that helps the real economy and the punished pockets of most Argentines.
The idea of Pink House is to reach the two-month quarantine with positive data regarding the extent of the Coronavirus, and with numbers that emerge from the real economy that the worst moment of the fall is being left behind.
Officials are clear that it is not possible to compensate for the vertical collapse of activity in the midst of a pandemic, but it is necessary to provide signals to society that there is a way forward.
In this sense, the conclusion refers to the fact that the private sector must gradually join the rescue of the economy, in compliance with a strict protocol.
In the Government they believe that, although it is not possible to “ignite the economy” -as Alberto Fernández promised during the campaign-, in the midst of the quarantine they should put a floor on it to the shrinking of the activity.
From a political point of view, there is also a rush to change the dynamics. Some officials believe that the administration should not fall for the idea that they are the sanitarians -and not the Government- who set the pace of the situation.
Having deposited the quarantine diagram with infectious disease experts was effective in achieving the goal of “flattening the curve.” But several weeks after confinement, there arise from society needs to soften those rules to return to work in order to meet basic survival needs.
From a political point of view, the issue had taken on a dimension: the government of Alberto F. is beginning to be mentioned as “the government where sanitarians rule.”
From the side entrepreneur, the needs are not very different from those of individuals. In recent weeks it became clear that the state’s firepower is limited, both by the fiscal slump infinitable as by the very side of the management itself.
The fact that the State is the only one that strives to counteract the logical standoff for isolation is not enough. It is seen: the Government was able to quickly reach the sectors that it already has identified as the most neglected (beneficiaries of AUH and retirees), but aid became entangled when it was necessary to attend to another section of the population (monotributistas, self-employed, employees in relation to dependency and informal workers).
The fiscal weakness of the State is known and will be confirmed in the afternoon of this Tuesday, when the AFIP announces the collection for April, which – unlike March – was fully impacted by the quarantine.
Consultants that closely follow the evolution of the tax collection they estimated it will show a historical decline of between 25% and 30% in real terms. Never seen.
The return of four million
The State aid, in these 45 days of paralysis, was dropper in relation to the gravity of the situation. As of today, no less than five million people are missing who still have to collect the $ 10,000 from the IFE (Emergency Family Income). And they will only receive that help between this month and the next. The Chief of Cabinet, Santiago Cafiero, He already announced that there will be a new round of that relief.
For companies, aid also seems late. Although welcome for executives, the truth is that so far only one in three companies that signed up (180,000 out of 450,000) were selected.
The other turn of the page that the Government intends to give has to do with what has been happening in the exchange market. Take that issue that worries financiers and businessmen alike from the public agenda.
And the only way to reassure the market will come from the news related to the negotiation with the creditors for the debt. But also for showing a horizon in the real economy.
This is what the executives who met with the President, in communion with the CGT leaders, raised yesterday in Olivos. The men of companies supported Alberto F. in the negotiation with the funds of Wall street, at the same time that they asked for signs towards the economy of every day.
This is what Matías Kulfas heard from the thousand businessmen who approached him with proposals to moderate the restrictions.
Each of these companies, coming from various industrial sectors, proposed a strict protocol to minimize the chances of contagion.
That comprehensive proposal is already on the President’s desk. The goal is for 1.6 million people to return to work.
“When the quarantine started, only 43% of workers (registered in the private sector) could work, today we are at 51% and we could reach 70% in May,” they told iProfesional from the Ministry of Productive Development.
That would mean that – in case the President gives the go-ahead – to the factories this month 4.2 million would return of the 6 million formal employees in the private sector.
Thousands of other workers would benefit indirectly from this return – from means of transportation to warehouses and kiosks – who stopped billing for quarantine.
The protocol for the return
In any case, they argue near Minister Kulfas, the plan includes strict protocols for both the entry and exit of workers to the plants and the mode of transportation. Several of the companies have already said they would be willing to pay for and organize the way their operators arrive and leave work.
The sectors that have already submitted their plan to return to work include: automotive, auto parts, chemical, petrochemical, plastic, metal-mechanic, cement, textile, clothing and footwear, among others.
Other sectors such as food or drug production were already working at full capacity, as they were considered essential activities.
On the recommendation of the sanitarians, the issue of greatest concern is not so much how the workers can take care of themselves at their posts, but rather how they get to the doors of the plants.
In this regard, they say from Production: “Employers have to present proposals. Either because of the proximity of the workers who come walking or cycling, or have their own cars or each company puts your own means of transport (school buses or transportation that are not working) to bring workers. Or a combination of all three. But we must find an effective solution to the issue of transport before taking any measure of flexibility. ”
Before this weekend the mystery will be revealed. Again, as it happened every two weeks since this historic quarantine started.
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