The appointed Secretary of Commerce, Matías Tombolini, anticipated this Friday that as of “next week” your portfolio will begin to hold meetings with the “main actors in the price formation chain”in view of a relaunch of the Care Prices program within the next “45 to 60 days”.
“We are going to start meeting next week with the different business associations, supermarkets, local mouths, users and consumers and, obviously, the main actors in the price formation chain,” Tombolini told Radio 10. .
One of the objectives of the meetings, according to the new secretary, will be “to recover prices as a unit of useful information when making decisions”, since “today Argentina is going through a moment where prices are no longer a everyday reference.
“What we have to try is to find agreements that are stable over time, at least a quarter”
“When we took office, what we did, from the initial kick that (the Minister of Economy) Sergio (Massa) gave to management, is to mark a clear roadmap, establish a diagnosis, a set of objectives and from there a way to go, a plan, a program,” said Tombolini.
From this, it will seek to “value” Care Prices, claiming that “it works much better within 45 to 60 days” from its relaunch.
“What we have to try is to find agreements that are stable over time, at least a quarter”he pointed out, and warned that “where there is an abuse, we are going to try to detect it and work accordingly.”
In this sense, the secretary reiterated that the program will seek to return to the foundations that its predecessor, Augusto Costa, gave it between 2014 and 2015, with “the idea that prices work as reference prices and not as a freeze.”
The former director of Banco Nación and Arsat valued “the tools” that his portfolio will now have as a result of Massa’s decision to add foreign trade functions to Internal Trade that, previously, corresponded to the Ministry of Industry.
This will allow the new Ministry of Commerce to have centralized control of the Comprehensive Import Monitoring System (SIMI).
“The Secretariat, by incorporating functions related to foreign trade, recovers a tool that it had especially in the Government of Cristina (Fernández de Kirchner) that Sergio (Massa) intends to resume,” Tombolini said.
The secretary reiterated that the program will seek to return to the fundamentals that its predecessor, Augusto Costa, gave it between 2014 and 2015
After which, he exemplified: “Many times those who produce, from food and beverages to other types of products that are sold in Argentina, are on the side of the importers and have access to official dollars; and we ask ourselves: Is that input in the official dollar expressed in a price according to the evolution of that cost in official dollars?”
The secretary also stated that work will be done “together with Customs and the Central Bank” to detect over-invoicing and under-invoicing maneuvers in import triangulation operationswhich “are going to be denounced in the Argentine justice system and as a money laundering operation in the United States Justice”, as Massa and the head of Customs, Guillermo Michel, anticipated.
Finally, Tombolini indicated that the Secretariat has the “willingness to sit down again” to “try to see how it can fund” the Agrifood Countercyclical Fund, a US$25 million trust fund to offset the sales of flour and dry noodles in the gondolas, which, due to the increase in the value of wheat, has sold out before the original year-end date.
Likewise, work will be done on the “presentation of the products” since “windows often appear where very similar products are offered to consumers (to those offered in Care Prices) with supposed changes”.