This Monday, several resolutions of the Ministry of Social Development were published in the Official Gazette authorizing the massive purchase of basic foods to supply the most vulnerable sectors in the context of the coronavirus epidemic. However, the prices that are detailed are up to 37% above those included in Care Prices and are higher than those of the top brands in each category.

This is the case of purchases of oil, sugar and rice. The Government admitted that it paid higher prices for these products and justified it because of the urgency to complete the purchases. “In the cases of oil and sugar, the suppliers quoted above the witness price and were asked to make a price improvement. The subsequent offers continued above the price, but given the need to reach dining rooms and picnic areas with those products that are part of the basic basket, it was decided to make the purchase”Explained Daniel Arroyo, Minister of Social Development.

For the oil, the Government authorized purchases for $ 164 million from the companies Sol Ganadera, Copacabana and Teylem, which offered prices for 1.5-liter mixed oils of $ 157.80, $ 158.67 and $ 166.58 for the Indigo, Casaliva brands. , Ideal and Marolio. In supermarkets, a top-brand sunflower oil, such as Cook, sells for $ 145.79. In other words, the price that was authorized to be paid is 14% more expensive.

If you buy with the Care Prices products, meanwhile, the difference is even greater. In the price list prepared by the Government, there are oils with the brands Cada Día and Ideal at a price of $ 121 each, also in a 1.5-liter presentation. The difference is 37.6%.

In the case of sugar, purchases for $ 51 million were authorized from the Copacabana and Alimentos Generales companies, producers of the La Muñeca brand. The price per unit is $ 74.97 and $ 74.20 respectively.

The kilo of Ledesma sugar, the first brand in the category, is sold in large chains for $ 59, a 25% difference between the two products.

There are also differences for rice prices, between those authorized by the Government to pay and those sold in supermarkets or within the Care Prices program. In this case, the resolution awarded a purchase of rice in kilo for $ 69 million to the companies Teylem, Alimentos Generales and Copacabana that offered prices of between $ 68 and $ 68.77 for products of the Don Marcos, Molinos Ala, Ñangaripí and Chajarí brands between others. These prices are 17% higher than the Care Prices products, where the Apostles rice is included for a price of $ 54.50 per kilo.

“They are purchases that are made permanently. Before the coronavirus, we had 8 million people receiving food assistance and we passed 11 million people in the last 15 days, precisely because part of the people who have informal work ran out of income and then went to demand assistance. There are some of the people who make changas and occasionally go to a dining room. We are making purchases of 8 million kilos but for all this we tried to make an additional purchase of 12 million kilos and no offers were made for the entire volume, “Arroyo told C5N.

“What is clear is that we are facing a food emergency. The important thing is that we have to respond, that we have to buy food and transfer funds to the provinces and increase the volume of assistance, “said the minister. In this context of crisis, food assistance increased by $ 2,000 million, one part for the purchase of food and the other to transfer funds to provinces and municipalities, estimated at $ 400 million.