The Mauricio Macri government will implement a series of austerity measures aimed at saving the national economy 65.5 billion pesos (US$2.25 billion) in the next 16 months, the Treasury Ministry announced Tuesday.
The move comes in the wake of the government’s standy-by loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and at a tricky time for the Macri government as attention slowly begins turning to the 2019 general and presidential elections.
The measures announced Tuesday are aimed specifically at the agricultural sector, including the suspension of planned tax cuts on soy oil and flour exports.
The government has also stripped the country’s provinces and municipalities of a fund through which they could access 30 percent of the total income generated from soy exports. The amount paid to them in the way of export duties rebates was also cut, by 66 percent.
The government hopes to save 12.5 billion pesos in what remains of 2018 and another 53 billion during 2019, the Treasury Ministry announced in a press release.
When it comes to export duties on soy, the government has maintained the planned decrease in soybean levies. However, according to official data, soy levies have been continually dropping, from 35 percent in 2015 for soy beans to the current 26 percent, with a forecasted 18 percent by December 2019.
With regards to oils and flours, levies have dropped from 32 percent in 2015 to the current 23 percent and is also expected to reach 18 percent by December next year. The additional income for the national coffers is expected at 1.5 billion pesos in 2018 and 12 billion in 2019, the Treasury Ministry announced.