The Secretary of Energy Darío Martínez anticipated that for a significant part of the electricity and gas users, the increases that the Government could implement in the coming months will be “symbolic”. The official said that for the sector of the population that is below the poverty line, “There is no room” to make rate increases.
The Executive Branch will evaluate until March a transition scheme in the price of utilities, which are frozen since the second quarter of 2019 and that it forced the Treasury to double the funds allocated to subsidies throughout 2020, as published Infobae. Regulatory entities of electricity (ENRE) and gas (Enargas) will analyze how this defrosting can begin and for that They seek “individualized” information per user to make spending on grants more efficientMartinez explained.
“We are generating a database of the entire country to use subsidies efficiently”said the official. For the poorest sector of the population, the State already has the information that Anses collected during the pandemic, for the implementation of the Emergency Family Income (IFE), which had a reach of almost 9 million people. In the case of the portion with the highest income, the official affirmed that due to fiscal secrecy issues “we have less speed” to make this identification.
A retiree can not increase the rate more than retirement, it has to be below that. A wage earner too, has to increase his purchasing power, not lower it.
Asked about the possible increases in March for the population below the poverty line, Martínez said that “For that percentage of the population there is no room for rate increases, or if there is, only symbolic”, explained in dialogue with Radio 10. According to the latest Indec data, poverty reached 40.9% of the population, but it could have ended 2020 with an even higher number.
“Then there is a similar percentage of sectors that can cope (with increases) but cannot go above their purchasing power. A retiree can not increase the rate more than retirement, it has to be below that. A wage earner too, has to increase his purchasing power, not lower it”Said Darío Martínez.
“We are looking for the bases for those who can afford the cost of energy, which is a smaller percentage of the population”, specified the Secretary of Energy. Regarding the subsidy segmentation scheme, he commented that “it is a process that we have to build over time”, that “we must go unfailingly in that direction” and that “over time it will become more efficient and more accurate”.
In addition, Martínez anticipated that the government would use a similar system of individualization of subsidies to unfreeze public transport rates.
Regarding which components of the energy price will be adjusted in the coming months, he said that “the value of energy has two main items, the production of energy, which is a cost that is paid throughout the country, and the value distribution aggregate (VAD) ”. This last point, he assured, “will be defined by the distributors (of electricity or gas) in each province. We are going to make it possible for people to identify how the ballot is composed“, he claimed.
Martínez anticipated that the government would use a similar system of individualization of subsidies to unfreeze public transport rates.
On distributor debt to producers (both in the gas and electric energy chain), the energy area official said that “You have to solve it, otherwise the Treasury always ends up covering” that liability. According to official estimates, the volume of debts that the nine main gas distributors have with producers reached $ 57,436 million. According to data from Econétrica, only Edesur accumulated $ 18,000 million in the first six months of the year.
“Energy in the world is subsidized. What needs to be discussed is in what percentage. There is a lot of debate about rates and not about investments ”, added the Secretary of Energy. “The system of Comprehensive Rate Review of the previous government is priceless for the population,” he questioned.
Finally, Martínez said that renewable energy “is beautiful” but that (Mauricio Macri’s Government) “left us contracts in very high and priority dollars. And Argentina is a country that in its energy matrix is good, environmentally it is not so harmful ”, he concluded.
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