In a long debate, and crossed by the discussions on the energy policies applied during the Kirchner and Macrista governments, the Senate signed into law the bill pushed by Máximo Kirchner so that more than 3 million users, from 17 provinces of the country, be added to the “Cold Zones” program and have between 30% and 50% discount on your gas tickets.
The project was approved by 51 votes in favor and 12 negative. The Frente de Todos, its allies and the senators of Together for the Change of the benefited provinces were in the affirmative. The rest of the opposition legislators voted against.
“The senators of Mendoza are going to accompany, but does not mean that we can issue considerations“, had advanced the Mendoza radical, Julio Cobos.
The regulation extends the benefits that the Patagonian provinces and the Puna already have to regions of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, San Juan, San Luis, Salta, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Catamarca, Jujuy, Tucumán and La Rioja. Of the 850 thousand beneficiaries of current gas subsidies, this will be 4 million.
The ruling party clarifies that no funds from the National Treasury will be required to finance the benefit because the initiative sets an increase in the surcharge that already comes in the invoices destined to the Trust Fund from 4.46% to 5.44%.
“It will mean a minimum impact of 0.5% of the invoice amount on average”, defended the president of the Energy Commission, the official Rubén Uñac.
“This is not a subsidy from the state, It is a compensatory fund that consumers themselves pay”Added the Chubut from the Frente de Todos, Mario País.
However, the PRO missionary, Humberto Schiavoni, countered and warned about a indirect tax impact.
“80% of this surcharge is paid by the industries and electric power generators, since the thermal plants use gas as the main input to generate energy. That is, there is a cross-subsidy that will have an impact on the wholesale price of energy; in the magnitude of the subsidy paid for electricity. it will have an indirect budgetary reflection with respect to the National Treasury “, he claimed.
The initiative stipulates that the 50% reduction in rates for vulnerable sectors, as retirees and pensioners, recipients of the Universal Child Allowance, electrodependents and workers with a gross salary less than or equal to four minimum wages. For the rest of the residential users, the discount is 30%.
It is estimated that the 30% discounts will be for 2.6 million new users and that the 50% will apply to some 400,000 households, which already receive the social tariff.
The discussion was crossed by the different views on what should be the energetic politics from the country.
“This project is constituted as a true declaration of principles, each of the points it addresses recognizes the principle of equality and non-discrimination. In addition, it seeks to reverse the damage caused by the macrista rate management “, added the official from San Luis, María Eugenia Catalfamo.
The boss of the JxC interlock, Luis Naidenoff, acknowledged that during the government of Cambiemos the sincere was “hard and strong” and considered that “the way it was implemented had consequences in electoral matters.”
But he pointed out against Kirchnerism: “The policy of shortages, of gas imports to subsidize those who did not need it led us to the worst of worlds “
For their part, the northern provinces, for their part, complained and complained about “inequities.”
The Chaco Victor Zimmermann (UCR) stated: “The subsidy system in Argentina is pro-rich and with this bill that is expanded. And what about the Northeast and the province of Chaco? None“.
The initiative had been presented together, last month, by deputies Máximo Kirchner and Liliana Schwindt from the Frente de Todos; Alejandro “Topo” Rodríguez from Federal Consensus and José Luis Ramón from Federal Unity and Equity.
At the beginning of the session, the senators also renewed the protocol of virtual operation of the Chamber for two more months, until the end of August and they made the transvestite-trans job quota into law.