Argentina highlights the "receptivity" of the IMF to its plan against inflation



The Argentine Government said Monday that the mission sent by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Argentina to study a possible debt restructuring showed "receptivity" to its plans against inflation.

The Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, emphasized a press conference in Buenos Aires in which the Government had transferred to the representatives of the Fund that the country's inflation problem could not be treated as an exclusively monetary issue, but as a problem with "multicausal" characteristics.

Argentina, which has been in recession since April 2018, closed 2019 with an inflation of 53.8% and the Government seeks to restructure its bulky foreign debt to face the crisis.

In that sense, the minister explained that the idea of ​​the Government is to carry out a policy of "agreement" with the different sectors of the country as "businessmen and unions" to generate mechanisms of real wage increases.

In addition, the economist stressed that another of the topics discussed was the future of gas and electricity rates in Argentina, now frozen.

In response, Kulfas said that he showed the government the vision of the Government that it is an emergency period and that a "rate review mechanism" must be generated, which will allow updating rates and reducing system costs wherever possible. electricity that allows "to generate reasonable and accessible rates also where there is lower income".

However, among these measures, there is "permanent freezing, much less, or maintaining this partial freezing for a long time," he said.

The IMF mission plans to remain in Argentina until next Wednesday.

In 2018, after the explosion of the serious crisis, the Government of the conservative Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) asked the IMF for a financial rescue, which resulted in a loan of 56.3 billion dollars, from which the country has so far received around 44,000.

That is why the process of paying that debt is a mainstay in the talks.

NEW ADDED TO CARE PRICES

The press conference of Kulfas, in the Casa Rosada, also served for the Government to announce the addition to the Care Price program - which sets quarterly the prices of a series of essential products - of wholesale and medium-sized surfaces and small supermarkets after the Pact reached a month ago with large surfaces.

The Minister of Productive Development said that the agreement will affect 59 brands of non-perishable products, beverages, cleanings and supplies for babies that will experience an average reduction of 9%, compared to the prices they had before entering the program.

So far, 33 medium and small supermarket chains that have 370 stores and 90% of wholesale distributors joined this new part of the program.

Kulfas also blamed the increase in the price of food from January to the expiration of the VAT exemption imposed last September by the previous Government and which ended with the end of the year.

The secretary of Internal Trade, Paula Español, said that the "Care Price" products increased their sales by 14% on average during the first month of the new program, although there were products on the list that were purchased 200% more .

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