Wednesday
October 1, 2014

Planning Minister De Vido rejects criticism

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Former secretaries push rate hike

By Fermín Koop
Herald Staff
While blackouts still continue in some neighborhoods of Buenos Aires City and province, former opposition Energy secretaries called on the government to decrease subsidies yesterday so energy distribution companies such as Edenor and Edesur have more money to invest on improving the service offered.

Federal Planing Minister Julio de Vido criticized the proposal, which would “stop the demand and lead the industry to bankruptcy.”

“By freezing the prices paid by users, the government doesn’t allow companies to charge a real price of energy. People now pay prices that don’t cover the total cost of the companies,” Jorge Lapeña, head of the Energy Institute General Mosconi. “Not enough money is collected by companies.”

Lapeña presented a document together with former Energy secretaries Emilio Apud, Daniel Montamat and Alieto Guadagni where the crisis of the energy sector is explained after the blackouts that started last month. The former Energy secretaries warned over the lack of long term policies on the energy sector, the lack of transparency of the government and estimated an investment of US$2 billion is needed to reestablish the energy sector.

“The systematic decline of the energy sector in Buenos Aires and also other provinces is evident based on government data. Between 2003 and 2011 complaints of users over blackouts have increased up to six times,” Alieto Guadagni, economist, said. “There is now an investment deficit of up to US$800 million since the demand has been increased but not the investments”

Federal Planning Minister Julio de Vido released a statement after the presentation by the former Energy secretaries and criticized their document, which would “leave millions of people without work and with a lack of future.”

“The only concern of this groups of former government officers is the prices of energy since whey they were in the government they always chose to freeze the local demand,” De Vido said. “Only people with neoliberal ideas can consider energy subsidies as expenses since it’s actually a policy that promotes employment, social inclusion and industrial activity.”

De Vido rejected having a deficit on the energy sector and explained that since 2003 92.500 billion pesos have been invested, with up to 80 percent of it done by the federal government. More than 5,000 kilometres of high tension lines were built and 8,727 megawatts were incorporated to the energy sector in the last decade, De Vido said.

@ferminkoop

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