In the midst of the productive and financial crisis caused by drought, Alfredo De Angeli is once again a disruptive voice, as he was almost 15 years ago in historic 4 month discussion on withholdings.
Now, while the Government has reiterated at the Liaison Table that it can analyze many measures for the sector but not modify withholding taxes, the charismatic producer of Entre Ríos introduced a bill in the nation’s Senate that ousts the official board. The current national legislature was the most emblematic protagonist of the greatest conflict between the agricultural sector and the governmentin 2008, when the president was Cristina Kirchneralthough political leadership was still in the head of her predecessor, and husband, Nestor Kirchner.
Coincidentally, or not, De Angeli’s arguments on his initiative are directed, as corresponds to the parliamentary protocols, at the “Madam President” (of the Senate), who is none other than the head of the gendarmes who took De Angeli to prison for driving the checkpoints near Gualeguaychú.
The project that has entered the upper house proposes to establish by law a scale of reduction of export duties. The plan includes a “gradual reduction of the rates of agro-industrial products which have the greatest impact on the collection of taxes (such as soy, corn and wheat) e Elimination of withholding taxes for those regional economies that generate very low revenues”.
It is requested that for those products on which the measure will have the greatest tax impact, such as wheat, corn, soy and their derivatives, a gradual reduction of the tax be established, in principle in 50% for the first year of entry into force of this law and 5 percentage points annually until its elimination of the same.
De Angeli took into consideration that “although the current national government has disorderly eliminated, and without understanding the specific needs of the producers, some export rights for some products of the regional economies, it is essential that Congress go ahead and eliminate this tax transparently for all regional economies, stimulate the creation of jobs and the economic recovery of the country”.
The bill affirms “the distorting effect of export duties and the negative impact on the application of the technology they generate and which has resulted in a relative setback of our production compared to competing countries”and was accompanied by senators from all the provinces that make up the interblock of Together for Change.
“I have always advocated and will continue to advocate the same thing: in a federal country there can be no detentions”De Angeli said. At the same time, he stated that “defining by law a scale of export duty reductions for these products will provide producers with greater certainty each year in deciding their production plans and it will force the next governments to present their budgets without speculating with any changes to these rates outside the decision that rests with the Legislature”.
De Angeli’s proposal aims at the heart of race for resources between the state and the agricultural sector, which in 2022 generated 55,000 million dollars according to the Argentine Agro-industrial Council (CAA) and against a backdrop of drought losses, it would receive meager contributions, far less than what was taxed as withholdings.
Suspended for relief measures
Meanwhile, the Government continues without giving concrete signals on the relief measures for the affected producers, which the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa promised to announce next Wednesday, February 1st.
The Liaison Table has requested measures “in detail” and the Government maintains the suspension. The meeting that the representatives of the countryside had this Thursday with the Government was a balance sheet of the rural realities, but all the officials concentrated on “listening” and leaving the definitions and announcements to Massa.
The official argument about the poor definition of what the State could offer to interested producers is that “it was a meeting of technicians”, and therefore “the measures that the managers will then announce cannot be specified” (presumably, Massa) … What a location it is too a way to reduce the authority of other officials and also to delay time.
The official spokesmen described the meeting as “a work, not proposals, on the ideas brought by the Entities. This and what we talked about between Tuesday and Wednesday, in Afip and Banco Nación are analyze the “feasibility”.
it was barely there some transcended on the possibility of credits “a special rates” in the context of agricultural emergencies dictated by the provinces. It would also analyze maintain interest rates to those who have already taken credits
As for the tax burden, by the AFIP would have contemplated the return of tax payments or the suspension of their collection for a certain period of time“.
Given the lack of definitions, ruralists have reiterated their proposals, without losing expectations, but asking for speed.
Jorge Chemespresident of the Argentine Rural Confederations (CRA) said they had worked in detail on the tax and credit measures they had discussed earlier Friday with the economy minister, at INTA in Castelar.
He specified that he has asked for tax exemptions for disaster areas, the full reopening of the meat market and the unification of the exchange rate, because “although there is an emergency scenario, we do not in any way leave out all the other structural aspects, such as the historical claim for withholding taxes. He underlined that “they must be addressed, because without these conditions we would not need such profound emergency measures as the ones we are asking for”.
Laucirica stressed that “they shouldn’t delay. We want help to be accelerated, because we noticed a lot of slowness so that the solutions reach the producers,” he said.
The Secretary of the Rural Society, Charles Odriozola, agreed that “it is essential” to give them a rapid response to agriculture’s demands. Therefore, you stressed that it is important that declarations of “agricultural emergency” are made in the affected regions. “Many of these things are included in the emergency law, but the problem is that they are implemented a year or two later”.
Charles Arterburn is a seasoned business journalist for News Rebeat, where he provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends and developments in the world of finance and economics.