Congress approves the royal decree of measures against drought

The plenary session of Congress approved this Thursday – with 329 votes in favor and one abstention – the revocation of the bill with the urgent measures and aid to mitigate the effects of the drought in the primary sectorso it will return to the Lower House before going to the Senate.

On March 31, the Lower House approved the processing of the Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers on March 15 with these measures as a bill through the urgent procedure.

The package of measures will have an impact of 450 million euros to provide a “timely” response to the drought situation, as explained by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas.

In labor and Social Security matterscollects special deferrals for companies included in the Special Agrarian System and for the self-employed belonging to the Special System for Self-Employed Workers (SETA), of Social Security contributions at a very low interest rate, of 0.5%, seven times lower to usual.

Likewise, it authorizes a reduction in the minimum number of real quoted days, from 35 to 20, to access the unemployment subsidy or agricultural income, in favor of temporary agricultural workers residing in Andalusia and Extremadura.

Hiring as discontinuous permanent and temporary hiring are equated, for the purposes of access and determination of the right to the subsidy for temporary agricultural workers and agricultural income.

In terms of taxation, it includes a reduction in the net income for agricultural and livestock activities that are taxed by modules in the IRPF and the exemption from the rustic IBI for certain producers.

The package designed by Agriculture also includes a direct aid of ten million euroswhich will be able to mobilize more than 100 million euros in the sector, in addition to guarantees in agricultural holdings and financing lines of 2.7 million.

Action is also taken on the cost of desalinated water owned by the General State Administration with the establishment of a maximum price of 0.450 euros per cubic meter for irrigation intake and for the water from the Júcar-Vinalopó pipeline, a price per cubic meter of 0.295 euros is set for post-transfer intake.

After the persistent and intense rains of recent weeks, the reservoirs exceed, for the first time this year, 50% of their total capacity with 28,381 cubic hectometres, a figure that cuts the accumulated water deficit but still remains far from the average of the last year (60%) and even very far from the ten-year average (70%).

The current water reserves in the reservoirs are at 50.6% with almost 6,000 cubic hectometers (hm3) less than last year (34,036 hm3) and around 11,000 (hm3) less than ten years ago (39,057 hm3), according to data from the Ministry for Ecological Transition, which details that you have to go back to the end of July 2021 to see water records similar to the current ones.

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