There will be imprisonment and cancellation of the concession and they must publish the prices as of March 6 at all their branches, ordered by product and alphabetically.
The Government went out to deepen the measures already taken to avoid price increases and to ensure the supply of merchandise in large supermarket chains and wholesale self-services, warehouses, markets, mini-markets, pharmacies throughout the country.
The decision was made after analyzing the results of the controls and inspections carried out in this last week, which were carried out by inspectors from the Ministry of Internal Trade and officials from the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP).
Among the new measures, the obligation to publish the lists of the between 1,500 and 2,000 products divided into 50 categories that were included in the obligation to lower their prices as of March 6, such as those for alcohol gel, stands out in all its branches. whose value may not exceed that which it had as of February 15.
To this will be added the deepening of the sanctions that will be applied to businesses that do not comply with these measures ordered by the Ministry of Productive Development to establish limits to the excesses that were noticed in the framework of the coronavirus pandemic.
At this point, official sources announced that the penalties will be increasingly harsh, not only monetary but also criminal. They assure that they will apply the maximums allowed by the Consumer Defense Law that allows up to $ 20 million in fines, five-year prison for those responsible and also the expiration of permits to operate.
This is due to the constant complaints that officials continue to receive about strong price increases in recent days, despite the warnings already launched against those who speculate with the needs generated by the health emergency caused by the virus.
In fact, in the first nine days of the joint operation launched by the AFIP and Internal Trade, 2,300 agents were deployed, who found a large number of irregularities in the controls they carried out in 1,605 supermarkets, pharmacies, self-services, factories and wholesalers.
“Officials were throughout the country seeking to avoid price abuses and guarantee the availability of essential products such as food, beverages, cleaning articles, and hygiene and health care elements,” they explained from the tax agency led by Mercedes Marcó del Pont. .
In the first balance of sanctions, eight preventive closings have already been carried out in a wholesaler, three local shops and four pharmacies and it was obliged to correct more than 1,000 gondola prices.
Just last Thursday, in the area of the City of Buenos Aires, 30 wholesalers from different chains were inspected and it was found that all of them incurred infractions, for which they had to rectify the prices according to the list of maximum reference values. In the rest of the country, 157 controls were carried out and it was concluded that eight out of 10 businesses presented infractions for exceeding maximum reference prices. So they were also forced to roll back prices to March 6.
“Too many infractions have been revealed, which requires a tightening of controls and measures,” said the officials consulted by iProfessional.
For this reason and as a first step, as of this Sunday, March 29, businesses will be required to have, in each of their points of sale, the price lists in force as of March 6 for each product.
“These listings must correspond to the point of sale specifically and not be a generic listing in the case of chain stores,” clarifies in the resolution known this Saturday.
In the case of pharmacies, the measure is similar with the exception that the price they must publish is the one that had the gel alcohol on February 15. And both supermarkets, wholesalers and pharmacies will have to comply with another obligation, which is to group the price lists by category and in alphabetical order.
They will also have to contain the following data:
a) CUIT of the company, company name and name or trade name
b) Location of the point of sale, with full address
c) EAN code or sectoral equivalent of the product;
d) Sales price as of March 6 established in Resolution No. 100/20 or as of February 15 in the case of those established by Resolution No. 86/20, both of the Ministry of Internal Trade.
“In all cases, the lists will have the character of an affidavit and must be available to be compared and / or analyzed by the officials authorized to carry out the inspections or any other requirement that the enforcement authorities may request in the framework of this health emergency.“, warns the resolution of Productive Development.
This week and to detect compliance with the new measures, the AFIP and Internal Trade inspectors will continue with price controls based on the prepared forms.
If during the tour they detect non-compliance, they request that the company roll back the prices and if they refuse, a “preventive closure” is applied to them, despite the fact that it is not the objective of the Government but that it is carried out based on the intransigence of the companies. companies to meet the standards.
When this point is reached, attempts are made to ensure that it does not affect consumers, so the closings are temporary and they are given up to four hours to modify the prices before the inspectors return to verify the correction2 ” , they explain from the AFIP.
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