September 23, 2014
Consumers bill seeks to 'limit' state intervention
Domestic Trade Secretary Augusto Costa has defended the project on Argentina’s supply law questioning business leaders who have raised their voices against the government-sponsored bill.
“With this law, we are eliminating the government’s capacity to intervene directly in companies,” the secretary told reporters today reaffirming that the reforms that have sparked controversy over the past weeks seek to actually “limit the state’s intervention even more.”
According to Costa, the package of bills the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration submitted to Congress, that MPs will start to discuss today, will introduce “news and reforms” to the current legistlation such as the creation of a legal status for consumers allowing them to ease processes against companies.
“Other news is the so called observatory of prices that allows following up the evolution of prices to watch distortions in companies. That way we will be able to act accordingly,” the official added and went on to criticize business leaders for not discussing such changes and “distorting” public opinion instead.
They are “simplifying” the debate, Costa assured and blasted “big corporations that don’t leave room for small companies and consumers.”
Explaining the possibility to control and intervene in prices or set companies’ utility margins dates back to a 1974 law, the domestic trade secretary denied the project was either news or a “Venezuela-like” move - the private-sector in Argentina has long resisted late Hugo Chávez’s “socialism” as well as Buenos Aires-Caracas close ties.
“It is no news neither it is inspired in the Venezuelan legislation. So those talking about progress it took them 40 years to realize it was already written in the law. Those who are reacting are large concentrated capitals in certain sectors that leave no place for the small and medium company.”