Chávez watch: New economic measures, new finance minister
On June 11, Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, agreed to remove a tax of 1.5% on all financial transactions, admitting that the government did not need this revenue and that it was helping to push up inflation. He also introduced new exchange rate controls that will reduce the paperwork for capital goods imports. But this applies only to companies seeking $50,000 or less.
The president also said he plans to increase agricultural subsidies to help pay off debts owed by food producers and create a $1 billion fund with the private sector to boost manufacturing and food production. To pay for this, the government will direct $500 million from a new windfall tax on the oil industry while the other half of the money will come from a fund created with China. Chávez also named Ali Rodríguez Arague, former president of PDVSA, as the successor of Rafael Isea as finance minister.