Buenos Aires Times

economy JAVIER IGUACEL

Energy secretary Javier Iguacel faces criminal charges for gas price hike

The decision throws into question the Energy Secretariat’s decision to slap consumers with increased gas bills from January 2019 through the following 24 months.

Monday 8 October, 2018
National Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel.
National Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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National Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel is facing a criminal complaint for forcing consumers to compensate gas distributors for the increase in gas prices stemming from the massive slump in the value of the national currency.

Iguacel stands accused of abuse of authority and failing to comply with the duties of a public official, according to the complaint lodged by federal prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan.

“I decided to make a complain under resolution number 20/2018 which establishes a retroactive increase in gas prices because this involved compensating gas distributors for the months of April to September given the rise in the dollar”, Marijuan told the Todo Noticias news channel.

The decision throws into question the Energy Secretariat’s decision to slap consumers with increased gas bills from January 2019 through the following 24 months.

Iguacel defended the decision, saying the increases are “in line with the current legislation”.

Gas is “always dollarised, 70 percent of its composition is”, he said at a press conference on Monday, claiming his office was working tirelessly to “get out of this debacle” which was left to the current administration by the previous Kichner administrations.

“With the prices that the Kirchners left, we would be paying twice as much for energy”, he alleged.

Prosecutor Marijuan claims Iguacel exceeded his constitutional obligation since “no price rise can be have a retroactive effect”.

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