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María Antonieta Alva: In many of the issues on which we had made progress, there have been big setbacks

In an interview given to the newspaper The Republicthe ex-owner of Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), María Antonieta Alva, was consulted on the political and economic news of the country. In this regard, she pointed out that the Government of Pedro Castillo is “extremist” in various aspects.

“Extremist in terms of improvisation, of lobbying, with the counter-reforms in transportation. But I must also say that this extremism – about improvisation and lobbying – I see it in most members of Congress as well. This informality with which things are carried out… I feel that we are in a very perverse balance where the government and the majority of Congress act in the same way. Sunedu’s setbacks have been promoted in Congress”, she pointed out and added that as a public official, she knows first hand how difficult it is to promote reforms from the State.

“What moves many of my comments is the spirit that I have as an official. The last thing was due to the very ill-advised decision to remove Amalia Moreno (from Reconstruction with Changes). I speak as someone who has worked in the State, who has seen how difficult it is to carry out reforms, who has seen how the State has been strengthening and improving, although not at the rate it should. For example, it is said that this government wants to throw Servir down, but previous governments put it in the freezer as well. I feel as an official that in many of the issues on which we had advanced, even in small steps, there have been big setbacks. That is what moves me in these comments, ”she highlighted.

Likewise, the former public official was consulted about the current management in the Ministry of Economy and Financea sector in which he assured he observes a lot of “disorder”.

“Certainly, it was used to consistency with the productive sectors and it was necessary to guarantee a certain consistency between what the Ministers of Economy, Labor, and Mines do. I see a lot of mess. I do not believe that the positions of the MEF have changed significantly, many things that could be considered mistakes in economic policy management have gone without their favorable opinion. The MEF is not being given the role of agreeing on all economic policy. I feel that the sectors are very messy and I feel that the Minister of Economy does not have the weight that he had before in other cabinets”, he mentioned.

WITHDRAWAL OF THE AFPs

The former Minister of Economy described the law for the new withdrawal of 4 UITs from the AFPs as an irresponsible measure to “win headlines and change the agenda”, however, she denied being a defender of the AFPs.

“When I was minister, in pension issues I was faced with the withdrawal of one hundred percent of funds from the AFPs and the ONP. In the case of the AFPs, the MEF tried to propose something a little more measured because there was concern about liquidity, what would happen if the AFPs had to go out and settle with a 100% withdrawal. The measures were approved, but she came with a package of 20 measures that included payroll subsidies and bonuses in a context of confinement of the economy in an informal situation. Those who had a little money in the AFP no longer have it with those withdrawals that took place, so the current measure is not focused on the families that need it most, ”she pointed out, adding that there are justified criticisms.

“Peru does not have a pension system. We have designed a system that is not adapted to this situation of informality. And there are criticisms of the AFPs. (…) What worries me is that two years have passed and we haven’t done anything significant. These battles that I had are from April 2020 and we are in May 2022 and we have not done anything to take some steps towards having a pension system that really protects the population, ”he said.

Finally, Alva was asked about her criticism of the Reactiva program that she promoted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The main obstacle to it was, as he stated, the structural gaps that exist in the country.

“Yes, I would do Reactiva again. I was able to improve communication, because this idea was entered that it was only money for large companies and when you see the list, 98% are mypes. Obviously, large companies have larger amounts because they have larger payrolls, but there was an issue… they even summoned me to Congress, to the Oversight Commission, and I presented numbers, but this issue had already been installed on the program of large companies . I needed to improve communication,” he said.

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