Almost in parallel to the decision to displace the official who was in charge of buying food with surcharges, the Minister of Social Development, Daniel Arroyo, ordered today to cancel the purchase of oil and sugar, which generated a strong scandal in the Government over the irregularities detected.
As you could know Infobae, Arroyo already signed an internal resolution in which he determined the “Complete cancellation” of the batch of sugar and oil that had been made with premiums. Thus, it also decided to immediately call to elaborate the new direct purchase process with maximum prices established by the Government.
“We are going to do everything that corresponds so that the purchase is transparent, without objections and with the corresponding maximum prices,” said an associate of the Minister of Social Development.
In this way, it was confirmed that the Government will only have a new purchase process for oil and sugar because it understands that the rest of the food items that were made for vulnerable sectors were “within the parameters accepted” by the General Syndicate of the Nation (SIGEN).
The ministry headed by Arroyo published the authorized purchases of staple foods – oil, noodles, sugar, rice and lentils – in the context of the health emergency to supply the most vulnerable families in the midst of the mandatory quarantine. It was “direct contracts”, which are not subject to the Contracting Regime of the National Public Administration. But there were striking cases of agreed prices.
For example, by Resolution 156/2020, it was awarded buying oil containers Edible mix for 1.5 liters each of Indigo brand to Teylem company, for a unit price of $ 166.58. This is 14% more than the price paid in the supermarket chains of the city of Buenos Aires, where the 1.5-liter container of top-brand Cocinero sunflower oil sells for $ 145.79.
By Resolution 158/2020, it was awarded buying sugar common in presentation of a kilo brand La Muñeca for $ 74.97. In supermarkets, the one kilo package of Ledesma sugar costs $ 59.95. The difference is 25 percent. Meanwhile, by Resolution 158/2020, the purchase of rice in one kilo packages of the Monarca, Don Bernardo, Chajarí, Valderey or Castellón brands was awarded for a unit price of $ 68.77. In supermarkets, Lucchetti rice – the first brand – costs even a few pennies less: $ 68.49.
In the case of buying noodlesIn the text of the resolution, prices of $ 84 were expressed for units of packages of 500 grams, a difference of 51% with the prices of supermarkets. However, Arroyo stressed that, only in the case of noodles, the price difference is due to the fact that the authorized prices are expressed in kilos, while the packages purchased are 500 grams. And that they had to make a correction. But he admitted the price premium in the purchase of oil and sugar.
For this reason, the purchase of noodles will not be canceled as it would be the case of oils and sugar.
Arroyo took this definition almost parallel to the one he took earlier to expel from his ministry Gonzalo Calvo, the head of the Critical Assistance Secretariat who had been in charge of the controversial purchase of food with surcharges for vulnerable sectors in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
As revealed to Infobae qualified government sources, the Ministry of Social Development launched an internal investigation at the request of the president Alberto Fernández and today Minister Arroyo asked Calvo to resign.
“We are facing an internal investigation situation and we do not rule out that from now on there will be more requests for resignations”, added the sources consulted.
Calvo was the one who carried out all the operations for the purchase of oil, sugar and noodles for which premiums were paid at the Ministry of Social Development. This official he had been investigated for corruption a year ago and was expelled while he was an official of the Municipality of Almirante Brown in charge of the mayor Mariano Cascallares.
At that time Calvo resigned from the municipality’s Security Secretariat after a video filmed by a hidden camera was broadcast on Facebook where allegedly bribed a private security company.
Protected by the broad support that the President gave him yesterday, who said “I will not fix corrupt people in my government”, Arroyo advanced today with the displacement of Calvo, who had been in charge of the millionaire purchases of noodles, oil and sugar with surcharges .
In fact, before making this decision, the Minister of Social Development informed the President of the steps he was going to take. That is to say that in addition to the expulsion of Calvo, it was decided to open an internal summary to review the entire administrative circuit by which the purchase of food with surcharges was made.
With the departure of Calvo, the first loss in the government of Alberto Fernández is carried out. The officials who last night were with the President assure that he was very upset with this scandal of the purchase of food with surcharges. “On the one hand it makes him angry that some businessmen take advantage of a critical situation in the country and on the other hand he does not understand how it is that there are officials who have not seen all this,” said a consulted secretary of state.
On the other hand, the President asked Arroyo to have a “deep investigation” of everything that happened and signed a resolution to stop the purchase of food with surcharges.