Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou said on Friday that the Executive Branch will send to the Legislative a bill to exonerate VAT on asado de tira, a popular meat cut, as the Ukraine war takes its toll on the cost of food worldwide.
According to press reports from Montevideo, the Uruguayan Government has agreed to lower the VAT tax on high consumption meat products such as asado, after the local meat processing industry has already pledged to freeze prices for the same period.
Following such a commitment, Lacalle Pou said that a bill was drafted, which will be sent to Parliament for approval. This measure will last for one month.
The tira de asado is the meat cut most consumed by Uruguayans. The country is already facing a drop in exports as a result of the growing international price.
”We are going to exempt that cut (asado de tira) from VAT. There is an agreement with the members of the meat chain not to increase the price of bone-in cuts, Lacalle said Friday.
Lacalle had announced earlier this month that the Uruguayan government would not interfere with retail prices to contain increases. However, the country is looking for new suppliers of fertilizers, which are usually purchased from Russia and Ukraine.
For the peace of mind of the consumer and the operators in the chain, the meat processing industry assumes the commitment to freeze the price of meat on the bone for one month and, at the same time, the government is studying and today will make the decision, it is on the table of the President of the Republic, to lower the VAT on asado for the same period (one month),” said Conrado Ferber, president of Uruguay's Instituto Nacional de Carne (INAC), hoping to keep the price of one kilo of asado ”below UR$ 230″ (US$ 5).
Ferber insisted that meat did go up in Uruguay, but not 25% as the Meat Sellers Union had told Montevideo's newspaper El País last week. These values, according to Ferber, can be easily verified because the price lists are in the hands of the butchers and there is no way to hide the information. Ferber also said a commitment was needed so that these cuts of meat reach consumers under the measures already in place.
We all know each other, and we know that ... we take out the low-quality tip, we sell it as part of the agreement and the rest comes out with another price. In this scenario, Ferber asked consumers to be very demanding and that INAC would ensure supply.