Deputies will debate on an equitable distribution of the public transport subsidy in the country’s provinces
This Wednesday the Transport Commission of the Chamber of Deputies will resume the debate on different projects that seek to achieve an equitable distribution of public transport subsidies. The axis of the discussion is the difference in the volume of funds received by the AMBA and those allocated to the rest of the provinces. Although in May the Government promised to assist financially with a 65% increase for the interior, the figure was questioned given that the Secretary of Transportation, Diego Giuliano, stated that they still do not have said resource. In this framework, one of the main points to be debated in the lower house is the declaration of a transport emergency.
During the past month, the National Government maintained that they would financially help the provinces with an extra $46 billion. However, the Secretary of Transportation, Diego Giuliano, acknowledged that they only have “already projected resources until August.” Even so, he assured that work is being done to obtain the funds with the possibilities of expansion that arise from the Budget”. Faced with the uncertainty raised, this Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. the deputies will resume the debate together with national officials from the area.
According to what was reported, the commission chaired by the UCR deputy, Jorge Rizzotti, will continue with the analysis of a dozen projects and the agenda will include the “declaration of the emergency of public passenger transport by motor vehicle, urban and suburban inside the country”. In addition, the modifications on “extension of the expiration of the term to circulate for vehicles that provide passenger transport services” will be discussed, informed Télam.
For the provincial deputies, the distribution of the public transport subsidy in the interior maintains a notable gap between the AMBA, which concentrates between 85% and 75% of the subsidies, while the rest of the jurisdictions must distribute the remaining 15% or 13% . The inequality presented has its impact on the value of the tickets. In fact, it was suggested that in the City of Buenos Aires and the Greater Buenos Aires the rate has not been updated since 2019, so that the initial ticket is 18 pesos while in the provinces the basic values are from 24 to 80. pesos.
During last week’s debate, Giuliano argued that the problem began in the 2018 Fiscal Pact, which was approved by the majority of the governors and that it had an “impact on the 2019 numbers in a very important way.” . In this regard, it was explained that from said modification the subsidy to the interior was reduced by 50%”. In addition, he stated that transportation has a large subsidy component due to its “social, environmental and urban planning sense.”
Despite the fact that the Government acknowledged that it does not have funds to expand the budget for public transport in the interior, the governors insist on taking the Compensation Fund from $46,000 million to $70,000. For his part, the Secretary of Transport assured that the Executive is working on four policies that seek to compensate for the inequality generated. The first measure consists of an increase in subsidies to the interior, the second is focused on the transfer of the 32 lines that start and end in CABA to the Buenos Aires government, the third seeks an expansion of the SUBE card throughout the country with the aim of have greater control and the fourth measure seeks a defrosting of the rates in the AMBA, if this measure materializes, the initial ticket would go to 25 pesos.
Despite the announcement of the measures, referents of the Federal Transportation Committee (Cofetra) were dissatisfied. Alcira Brizuela, Secretary of Transport of La Rioja and vice president of the Committee, questioned that the AMBA receives $18.5 billion per month plus $1 billion in fuel subsidies, “while the entire interior receives $3.5 billion and has no fuel subsidy.”
Although the questioning of the distribution of the subsidy is promoted by the opposition blocks, deputies of the Front of All who belong to affected provinces support the claim that seeks a larger budget to alleviate the difficulties that arise due to inflation, low budget and increase in passenger fares.
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