Argentine Senator and former cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez strongly defended on Monday restrictions imposed by the government on dollar purchases arguing it would be “suicidal” to return to a flexible scheme which he insisted was implemented in defence of “the interests of Argentina”.
If people are operating with money of non-declared origin, then they shouldn't be able to buy dollars, Fernández stressed. Argentina must make decisions that are crucial to all Argentines regarding the trade balance, imports, exports and the exchange rate, and for each of those issues there is a recipe, he told reporters, explaining that ”the State must meddle in each of these actions and make decisions”.
Last November the administration of President Cristina Kirchner imposed strict measures for the purchase of US dollars to help contain the flight of capital and accumulate international reserves. Measures were made even stricter as bond issues mature and the inflow of export-dollars decreased as the oilseed and grains crop did not reach expectations.
Likewise on Monday a new set of controls on taxpayers who buy foreign travel packages came into effect as the resolution was published on the Official Gazette.
The Argentine tax bureau, AFIP, announced last week it would deepen the controls on taxpayers who acquire foreign travel packages through tour operators. By use of a new software tool AFIP will be requiring additional details from travellers in what effectively amounts to further tightening the regulation of the foreign currency exchange market.
Required will be the currency in which the payment was arranged, is the number of payments and the tour operator’s CUIT number (company registry), the agency said.
“This should help us to have a better detail of the workings of the industry and tourism operators and make sure they comply with all their fiscal responsibilities”, said AFIP director Ricardo Echegaray.
However tourism operators said that agencies already were obliged to report all foreign currency transfers overseas “so the new regulations should not cause major complications”.
”The contracting of normal tourist packages should not have an impact since the agents are empowered to make the operations in Argentine Pesos”, said Lisandro Cristiá from the Rosaio Travel Agencies.
But this did not impede the Argentine government from displaying an estimated 300 dogs in support of Customs and the Gendarmerie in all ports and bridges connecting with Uruguay with the purpose of impeding the outflow of non declared capitals in US dollars.
Meanwhile the official dollar ended trading on Monday at 4.44 and 4.49 Pesos, a cent higher compared to the last closing price last Thursday. The black market or ‘blue’ dollar price was also down loosing an additional 4 cents from 5.93 to 5.89 Pesos. The Euro dropped two cents and traded at 5.59/5.74 Pesos at Buenos Aires financial district exchange agencies.
Last week the blue dollar climbed to 6.15 Pesos in Buenos Aires and 6.70 in Rosario.
The informal market is estimated to have a daily turnover of 20 million dollars which is approximately equivalent to 17% of operations in the official circuit. However Monday was a national holiday in the US and markets remained closed.