Government officials yesterday presented a balance of the results of the 11 economic measures promoted by the government to reduce the impact of inflation and high fuel costs on an international scale due to factors such as COVID-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
«The government has mitigated the impact of the inflationary crisis as much as possible. Now it is up to us to continue with the effort so that prices return to their normal levels,» said the Minister of Finance, Alejandro Zelaya.
The official added that, since its implementation more than five months ago, the fiscal cost of the measures amounts to up to $240 million for fuel; around $120 million in costs of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG); and the elimination of tariffs on 20 products in the basic basket. «We are going to reach an investment of around $360 million at the end of August,» he added.
In addition, Zelaya indicated that despite the reduction in international fuel prices, these still do not reach the prices set by the government.
«Fuel prices have experienced a positive variation for the pockets of Salvadorans. International prices have begun to fall. However, it is not enough to reach the levels the government had set prices,» he stressed.
The minister also emphasized that the measures are sustainable due to the attack on tax evasion and the improvement of collection, with the aim of not transferring costs to the pockets of Salvadorans.
«The government of the Republic, contrary to what other governments have done, is not going to recover anything from the pockets of the population. We are going to continue attacking tax evasion and we are going to continue improving our collection systems », he stated.
As a result of the measures, continued the Minister of Finance, El Salvador is the country with the second lowest inflation rate in the Central American region. «What is clear is that we are going to maintain the measures in force as long as inflation levels remain,» he said.
In summary, the measures implemented contemplate the elimination of two taxes on fuels; the setting of maximum fuel prices, elimination of tariffs on 20 products of the basic basket; the verification of prices of food, dairy products, and agricultural products and inputs at the national level, actions in which institutions such as the Consumer Ombudsman (DC), the Ministry of Economy (Minec), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), and the Ministry of Finance participate.
For her part, the Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem, affirmed that within the framework of the measures, since April 1, the Salvadoran population has paid $4.31 cents per gallon of superior gasoline, $4.15 for regular gasoline, and $4.04 per gallon of diesel. According to the official, this allows Salvadorans to save up to $40 per month.
Regarding LPG, he explained that Salvadorans have benefited from two subsidies, one focused on $8.04 and another a generalized price stabilization of more than $4 for users of 35-pound gas drums. Salvadorans who enjoy both subsidies can save the $12.
«All these efforts make El Salvador the country with the lowest fuel and liquefied gas costs. All this work means that our economy has remained dynamic and is in one of its best moments in history, «explained the minister.
In addition, the official stated that more than 32,400 inspections have been carried out and that more than 17,700 have been at service stations, 222 at LPG bottling plants, and more than 14,600 LPG points of sale have been visited.