The Argentinian co-operative movement is actively engaged in shaping a draft bill that would update the legislation on the social economy sector, including co-operatives. The bill was drafted by Patricio Griffin, president of the National Institute of Association and Social Economy (INAES). It was officially launched on 13 December 2014, with hundreds of representatives from co-operatives and mutual sectors, academics and legislators attending the event.
Introducing the bill to co-operators, Dr Griffin, said: “We want to discuss a law that includes proactive guarantees for the sector. This law is a project that does not end here, that will define our next 10,15 years”. He also highlighted the important role of co-operatives in the country’s recovery from the economic crisis of 1998-2002.
Dr Griffin was joined by the Minister for Social Development, Alicia Kirchner. She said the government fully endorsed the draft bill and added that the final Bill would be the result of a “collective call”.
Also present at the launch was José Sabatella, president of the Financial Information Unit (UIF). “In the defence of the sector, we will tackle fraud. We do not want to have a single swindler in our movement”, commented Dr Griffin.
Speaking at the event, Ariel Guarco, the Co-operative Confederation of Argentina (Cooperar), said the movement welcomed the initiative to update the legislative framework for the social economy.
President of the National Confederation of Worker Co-operatives (CNCT), Christian Miño, also said: “We think the actualisation of the social economy legislation is fundamental, given that the sector has substantially increased throughout the past decade and deserves an appropriate legal framework. We salute the initiative of INAES and we hope to count on this draft bill to make our contribution”.
The new law aims to improve bankruptcy laws as well as increase participation of workers in the administration and ownership of recovered enterprises. Another objective of the law is to put theory into practice by linking academic institutions and schools with the social economy.
“We are waiting for this law with a lot of interest”, commented Alejandro Russo, president of the Argentinian Confederation of Mutuals. “What particularly interests us is preserving tax exemptions, which is a fundamental aspect.”
The draft bill will be debated in the following months and co-operators will take part in various forums and will then be send to the Parliament.
Photo: (left to right) Secretary of Higher Education Policies, Aldo Caballero; Alicia Kirchner and Patricio Griffin (c) Cooperar