The subsidies for gasoline (for super, extra and ecopais gasoline) have cost the Government -between January and September- $ 473 million. It is a figure that represents almost a third of the total fuel subsidies, which so far this yearreaches $ 1,391 million. This is revealed by the figures of the Central Bank of Ecuador.
In these days, the secretary of the Presidency, Eduardo Jurado, spoke of the possibility of reviewing fuel subsidies that do not affect low-income people.Among them would be just subsidies for gasoline.
On thesubject, the Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Carlos Pérez García, made a specific reflection on gasoline ecopaís and ethanol. The minister commented that “the subsidy of ethanol is a subsidy that the country can no longer afford.” He assured that this gasoline will not disappear; however, there will be changes.
Thefirst is that the purchase of ethanol will be made through tenders. There arethree large ethanol companies: Producargo, Soderal and Codana that must competewith each other and in this way seek to improve the sale price for the Government. The problem that currently exists is that one liter of imported ethanol costs 60 cents, when the one paid within the country is 90 cents.
The minister also assured that the investment that has been made in this sector does not exceed $ 30 million, although the sector claims that it has been $ 400million.
Additionally,the minister assured that Petroecuador has a technical problem and that it is not dispatching gasoline with the correct octane. This is: 92 for super and 85for ecopais and extra. In this regard, he said that he has ordered that these standards be met and that gasoline with a higher octane rating not be returned.
According to an official report to which this newspaper had access, in 2016 and 2017 theeco-pais program was not beneficial, as it generated losses of $ 1.43 million and $ 34.45 million, respectively.
It isalso indicated that from 2010 to 2017 with regard to employment, the three companies created 32 direct jobs. Codana reduced its staff from 95 to 93employees, while Soderal went from a payroll of 77 to 102 people. Finally, Producargo hired 109 people in 2017 with respect to 100 employees in 2010. (I)