Economy Minister Sergio Massa announced Thursday that the government is lining up a new price control programme that will stretch to more than 1,4000 products.
The agreement with the private sector – which covers products from more than 100 firms representing more than 86 percent of the market, according to officials – is the Alberto Fernández administration's latest attempt to tackle runaway inflation that is expected to hit 100 percent this year.
It will include products in the following categories: food, beverages, dairy products, personal hygiene and cleaning.
Massa, speaking during an interview with the TN news channel, revealed that the prices of more than 1,400 products would be fixed for a total of four months, during which the items involved may only increase by more than four percent.
Details of the full scheme are expected to be announced in the coming days.
“We are going to announce a programme called ‘Precios Justos’ [“Fair Prices”], in which more than 100 companies representing more than 86 percent of the market will participate, including food, personal hygiene, cleaning and products associated with the basic food basket," said the official.
"There are first and second brand or own brand products" involved in the scheme, he added, naming soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Fanta as examples.
Expanding on the theme, Massa said that the government is working with producers and retailers, not imposing rules.
“We always work on agreements with companies,” he declared. "There is no such thing as a resolution [that goes] from the minister to freeze prices. The best way is to work with the entire value chain.”
The official explained that "most of the supermarket chains" would participate in the scheme and that "people will be able to identify" the products involved easily.
Citizens will also be able to “control the agreement with an application from their mobile phones and report [stores] if they do not comply with it,” the minister added.
"The government's commitment is that these companies will leave us 1,400 fixed prices for four months and in the rest of the production chain for four months in which they commit to not raise products by more than four percent," he added.
“The state will provide guarantees and certainty in the process of importing intermediate and finished goods in the value chain and inputs," he said, adding: "The situation is critical. The state is providing instruments to increase supply, such as credit and capital goods.”