Home South AmericaColombia ‘We will invest in technology for the countryside’: pre-candidate Carlos Amaya

‘We will invest in technology for the countryside’: pre-candidate Carlos Amaya

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'We will invest in technology for the countryside': pre-candidate Carlos Amaya

Between 2016 and 2019, Carlos Amaya was the governor of Boyacá. The now candidate for the Hope Center Coalition hopes to bring his regional experience to the House of Nariño, with a proposal focused on strengthening agriculture from different fronts, he also aspires to create three million jobs with a Colombian ‘New Deal’. The former congressman also assures that a structural tax is needed that does not punish MSMEs.

(Read: ‘We propose a feminist agrarian reform’: Francia Márquez).

Although 2021 left important growth figures, how do you see the country’s situation in this scenario of uncertainty?

We have to look at the complex situation that we have now, such as a public debt with historical levels, a very high deficit, we have to look at the price of the dollar, and above all, see how inequality is. There is much talk about the need for macroeconomic stability, but almost all the indices have deteriorated. It is true that growth in 2021 was 10.6%, but we must have economic growth with well-beingand not continue celebrating when poverty continues to increase, we need a helm there.

What are your strategies to improve that well-being?

The State must guarantee that people have work, and that with that work they can feed their families and improve their living conditions. And it’s not asking for anything as a gift, What Colombians ask for are opportunities. I have three campaign proposals within a new general employment plan, a kind of ‘New Deal’, with which we intend to generate three million jobs. One million jobs with the creation of the national care system, formalizing the situation of women and young people who are in care work. This is part of an economy that is not formal, but is very important for the development of the country.

The second million would be for young people. With a program called ‘Guardians of Life’, which would be worth $3 billion and would generate 640,000 jobs for young environmental engineers, foresters, and technicians and technologists in environmental preservation. The other 340,000 jobs will go to subsidies for MSMEs that can hire young people, hiring must be subsidized in salaries, not only with social security. And the third million would be with public spending on infrastructure for development, not only roads, but also rural housing, infrastructure designed to strengthen productive sectors.

What is your opinion of another tax?

we need one tax reform that can be structural and redistributive and that allows us to achieve a large collection to boost the economy. A reform that really taxes dividends and equity that contemplates green taxes, I also propose a tax on sugary drinks. The tax reforms that have been made in the last 100 years, which are at least 40, have not improved inequality indicators.

(What’s more: ‘It is irresponsible to end oil’).

This reform should be more aimed at natural persons, the ultra-rich, and not at companies. Because that discourages job creation and investment and I think we can lower income tax, initially to 30%, and also remove many tax exemptions. Large companies are very skilled in generating deductions and those who end up paying everything are micro and small entrepreneurs. It would not tax the middle class at all and it would be just one tax reform, not four. A tax is successful to the extent that it corrects inequality.

We cannot continue sowing with the Bristol almanac, we must create a drone system

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Which sectors would be key in your government plan?

I propose a policy technological and productive development in Colombia. The country must be reindustrialized. I’m going to focus on agriculture, but also manufacturing and tourism. The first sector should be the countryside, to increase productivity, but for this we need the land to be better distributed. We must not dispossess anyone, but we can speak of a rural reform that allows large extensions of non-productive land to pay considerable taxes.

It is also needed a lot of technology, We cannot continue planting with the Bristol almanac, but rather create systems with drones, that there be universities studying the types of soil and better define the crops. It is necessary to invest in science and technology, as we did in Boyacá, with $30,000 million in technology projects for agroecology. We need agro-inputs at fair prices and move towards the production of national inputs. For commercialization, it is necessary to strengthen peasant associations, improve rural roads and eliminate intermediaries. We will create a national agency for the marketing of products abroad so that the State can help national producers. We must solve the problem of the 12 million tons of food that we are importing.

What is your position on oil?

We can’t fake insanity with the climate crisis, the world has run out of time, but we must look at the role of Colombia, we contribute 0.57% of the world’s emissions, and immediately stopping exporting coal and oil is not going to solve the problems. Where we can contribute, in taking care of the Amazon, that is where we have to concentrate, in preserving the paramos. We need to be as efficient as possible with oil and coal income so that with these resources we can carry out the productive reconversion that Colombia needs.

(Keep reading: ‘We propose an impoconsumption with a single rate of 8%’: candidate Alex Char).

I have red lines, radically no to fracking, many countries have said no, no to mining in moorlands, but in places where you can do well-done mining, or oil, you have to do it. And a transition must be made, but a transition is not decreed, it is arranged.

LAURA LUCIA BECERRA ELJALDE

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