The Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, defended the new price freeze, understanding that this year’s inflation “is very harsh” and it is necessary for wages to be higher. The Ministry of Internal Trade asked businessmen in the mass consumption sector to freeze the prices of 1,245 items in the basic food basket for a period of ninety days, in an attempt to put a brake on inflation.
For Kulfas, it is a “protected basket of prices, within a particular conjuncture, since we have a very tough year with inflation, as in reality it happens all over the world.” “The objective is for wages to beat inflation, after four years with a 20% drop in purchasing power,” said the official, in dialogue with journalists within the framework of the IDEA Colloquium. There, he said that “we cannot ask (Secretary of Internal Trade Roberto) Feletti to solve everything in a day and a half.”
On the other hand, he insisted that the Government is going to “rethink” some emergency measures it took due to the pandemic, such as double compensation and the prohibition of dismissals without just cause. “The economy is growing at 8% or a little more, we have a more normal scenario. Then, towards the end of the year we will take the corresponding measures,” he said.
Then, when presenting on the stage of the Colloquium in front of a handful of businessmen, Kulfas considered that “the crack may have political profitability in the short term, but it is an obstacle to long-term growth, because it complicates the need for understanding” .
The minister stressed that Argentina “has enormous opportunities to take advantage of in a challenging world.” In addition, he argued that the Government had to manage “the serious problems that the pandemic generated and at the same time, work on the challenges of reactivation.” In that sense, he stressed: “We have re-launched a productive policy that is showing results: today, the Argentine industry has 12 out of 16 branches growing; it is a sector that grows 5% compared to the pre-pandemic.”
“We are recovering the state musculature still in crisis, with more than 150 measures in terms of productive policy,” the minister emphasized. And he added that there are “three sustainability” to which the country should aim: macroeconomic, environmental and social, which, in his opinion, “are inextricably associated.”
“If we neglect any of them, growth will slow down. They are the fundamental basis of consensus,” he stressed. At the same time, Kulfas considered that “a country does not grow with social plans if not with genuine employment. We are aiming for that with six bills such as hydrocarbons or sustainable mobility.” (NA)