In the midst of the crusade to try to stop the inflationary outbreak, the Government sent invitations to companies, manufacturers and businesses to
relaunch this Friday at noon an expanded version of Fair Prices
, in an act that will take place this Friday at the CCK, and which will be headed by the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, and the Secretary of Commerce, Matías Tombolini.
The program, which will be in force until June, includes a new basket of 2,000 mass consumption products,
whose prices will be frozen for 4 months
Initially, it will focus on some 15 items, including textiles, footwear, electronics, laboratories and construction materials, and
establishes maximum monthly increases of 3.2%
In this way, an attempt is made to trace "a price path", according to the official jargon.
Tombolini reformatted a tool, which was born in 2014 under the Precios Cuidados brand and which changed its composition over the years,
always with very mediocre results
With Massa's endorsement, Fair Prices
managed to add more than 400 companies
, which adhered to the program with the promise of
delivering dollars from reserves to pay for imports.
The Government, thus, insists with the same recipe to curb prices.
Close to Tombolini they argue that it is not the only thing.
"Once the fiscal and reserve accumulation goals have been met, we understand that the conditions are in place to standardize all price agreements," they point out.
They allude to the multiple agreements previously agreed upon (clothing, medicines and cell phones, among many others), which will now become part of Fair Prices.
The main concern (hence the need for the announcement) is
the rise in prices in recent weeks.
In December, according to INDEC, the cost of living increased 5.1% and 2022 closed with 94.8%, the highest record in the last 32 years.
Private consultants estimate another rise for January (between 5 and 6%), which calls into question Massa's prediction (less than 4% in April) and the 60% guideline for the entire year established in the Law on Budget.
The negotiations to relaunch the program coincided with
the controversy over the intervention of truckers or pro-government piquetero groups
in price control operations and supermarket supplies.
There are also crosses and fights between the chains and the manufacturers due to
the low level of compliance with the program,
especially in the category of mass consumption.
For the Government, there is a 70% shortage.
This is that out of every 10 products, only 7 are actually on the shelves.
But qualified sources from the supermarket assure that the supply level averages 45%.
This not only affects the basket of 2,000 products frozen since December (which will be replaced by others).
Because Tombolini demanded that the chains reject increases above 4% per month.
Now the guideline falls to 3.2%.
“The shortage is widespread.
There are products, what is noticeable is the lack of variety”, say the chains and recall that the level of shortages is the highest since Precios Cuidados was created, which debuted in 2014. The owners of the gondolas blame the manufacturers for not fulfilling the orders.
And the suppliers argue that they cannot cope with an overheated demand precisely because the products are the cheapest on the market.