December 8, 2013
Budget, economic emergency, cheque tax extensionsWednesday, September 18, 2013
Budget comittee clears economic bill package for debate
The Lower House Budget Committee yesterday cleared for debate the bills on the 2014 Argentine budget, the extension of the economic emergency law and the removal and adjustment of cheques and cigarette taxes. The bills will be debated on the chamber floor on September 25.
The Victory Front (FPV) received the necessary votes thanks to the support of legislators of the allied Nuevo Encuentro party and Civic Front of Santiago del Estero.
Opposition parties expressed their concerns over the bills and requested the presence of government officials, including Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido and Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo to answer questions. Roberto Feletti, head of the committee, rejected the request.
“I don’t think the whole Cabinet should come to the meeting since this is only responsibility of the economy ministry. When the budget was presented, there were three government officials and only five opposition legislators,” he said, referring to the hearing at Congress last week, at which Economy Minister Hernán Lorenzino unveiled the budget, where he stated “Some years ago the IMF used to decide the numbers of the budget, but now all the provinces took part.”
Opposition legislators asked for a longer debate over the 2014 budget and criticized the continued existence of the economic emergency law, sanctioned after the 2001 crisis. Legislators also asked the government to share more of the money obtained collected through the taxes with provinces, as they currently receive only 15 percent.
“We cannot support a budget based on false numbers and statistics. It’s crucial to be honest about the economy and face the real and serious problem of foreign debt payments, in addition to the (internal) debt that the federal government created,” PRO lawmaker Jorge Triaca said.
Herald with DyN, Télam