LatinNews Daily - 11 March 2022

In brief: El Salvador’s Bukele seeks to address rising energy prices

* El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has announced 11 measures aimed at reducing the impact of the increase in energy prices stemming from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These include the suspension of two fuel-related taxes – the Fondo de Estabilización para el Fomento Económico (FEFE) and the Contribución al Transporte (CONTRANS) – initially for three months, which he said would cost the State US$11.52m and US$13.04m respectively. He also announced plans to reduce import tariffs on 20 basic and agricultural goods such as rice, sugar, onions, fertiliser, black and red beans, wheat, and milk, and said that the government would maintain subsidies for propane gas which benefits over a million Salvadorean households, adding that the government will absorb the increase in international gas prices. According to El Salvador’s central bank (BCR), annual inflation in February was 6.67%, the highest rate of the last twelve months and a steep increase on the 1.06% annual rate registered in February 2021.

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