President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Economy Minister Axel Kiciloff announced last night the launch of a new programme called ‘Ahora 12’ (Now 12) to reactivate consumption.
The programme aims to finance purchases of nationally produced goods and services in up to 12 interest-free payments with credit cards. It will begin to be implemented on Saturday and will extend, in principle, for a period of six months.
Home appliances, motorcycles, bicycles, furniture, clothes, shoes, leather goods, building materials, long-distance bus tickets, and hotels (up to three stars) will all be included in the plan. Purchases can be made between Thursdays and Sundays using Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Argencard, Nativa, Cabal, Naranja, Nevada, Diners, and Tarjeta Shopping.
Kiciloff pointed out that the Industry Ministry, credit cards, Banco Nación, and the private sector participated in the development of the programme, which is “a completely voluntary and mutually beneficial agreement.” The Industry Ministry estimates that up to 100,000 shops around the country could join, and will be identified by a sticker on the window.
Industry Minister Débora Giorgi explained that “we have chosen these sectors because they generate employment and bring dynamism to production, with a high and growing participation of national production in the domestic market.” The sectors involved also feature a large proportion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and employ approximately 148,500 workers.