Alongside its push for affordable and just housing for all, the Venezuelan government has re-launched a social program designed to make important and essential household appliances available to the population at a reduced cost.
The program, known as “My Well Equipped Home”, was first established in 2010 as the result of an agreement signed between the Venezuelan government and the Chinese company Haier.
After a brief period of inactivity, the Chavez administration re-started the scheme last Friday, bringing a wider range of public and private organizations into the mix to help facilitate the program’s success.
“This initiative of the Bolivarian Government has planned an alliance with the public financial system and for this reason we can offer accessible loans [to the people]”, President Chavez said during a re-launching ceremony held last week in Caracas.
“My Well Equipped Home” will be carried out with the participation of the Communes and Social Protection Ministry and credits will be made available to residents to purchase new commodities via the various communal and public banks established throughout the country.
Isis Ochoa, Communes and Social Protection Minister, was on hand last Saturday as the government delivered a range of new appliances to residents of the Carapita district of the Caracas sector Antimano.
“We are going to distribute in this first stage of re-launching 5,912 appliance combos made up of refrigerators, washing machines and stoves that have a price of 4,525 bolivars ($1,052)”, she informed.
That price is nearly half of what is being charged in private malls and stores across the country for the same products.
Residents will be able to receive low-interest loans, well below the rate of inflation, from not only participating state banks but also from private financial institutions in order to acquire the new goods.
The credits will be payable over 24 to 48 months, depending on the lending institution. In total the government foresees the distribution of 3 million appliances over the next 2 years.
Since its beginning in 2010, “My Well Equipped Home” has been able to deliver some 24 thousand products to Venezuelan residents throughout the national territory.
“The objective is to offer these appliances to families with scant resources and in doing so promote fair trade and create a new system of product distribution in order to eradicate speculation”, said Edmee Betancourt, Venezuela’s Commerce Minister.
Retired workers and those living off social security will also have the opportunity to participate in the government’s program at even lower rates of interest, ranging from 0 to 6 percent. Inflation in Venezuela fluctuates between 25 and 30 percent annually.
According to officials, the new appliances will be available at the many state-run outlets like Mercal, PDVAL and the Bicentennial Markets that belong to Venezuela’s growing public food distribution network.
During the re-inauguration ceremony held at the presidential palace of Miraflores last Friday, President Chavez extended his gratitude to the Chinese government and people for making this program possible.
“We have to thank [Chinese President] Hu Jintao, the Communist Party of China and the workers…Thanks to this agreement we’ve been able to lower costs and fight against the speculation that has made household appliances practically unobtainable”, Chavez said last Friday.