December 17, 2019 / 9:08 PM / 2 months ago

Factbox: What changes Argentina plans to fight financial crisis

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman on Tuesday announced a slew of policy changes included in a bill sent to Congress aimed at dealing with the country’s economic crisis.

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman attends a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mariana Greif/File Photo

Main points of the project:

- Imposition for five years of a 30% tax on the purchase of foreign exchange or for the payment of services or goods purchased abroad or through the internet, as well as for tourism expenses abroad. The purchase limit of up to $200 per month per person will also be maintained, which will include the new tax.

- 70% of the proceeds from the new tax will go to social plans, while the remaining 30% will be for infrastructure and social initiatives.

- The executive branch is empowered to re-negotiate public debt to “recover and ensure” its sustainability.

- The limit for taxes on soybean exports raised from 30% to 33%, and on corn and wheat from 12% to 15%.

- Personal property taxes, which the previous government had reduced, will be increased.

- Tax incentive for people who bring assets held abroad back to Argentina.

- To stimulate savings in the national currency, the bill proposes eliminating income tax on peso-denominated financial instruments in the country.

- Planned increases in public utility rates are suspended for 180 days.

- Scheduled pension increases are suspended for 180 days, and the executive will set quarterly increases “giving priority attention to the lowest income sectors”.

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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