A congressional committee in Bolivia rejected the $327 million IMF loan to fight COVID-19. The Planning Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, controlled by MAS (Movement for Socialism) lawmakers loyal to ousted president Evo Morales, unanimously rejected the deal on grounds of lack of proper documentation from the IMF. The interim government denounced the Parliament’s rejection of the loan, which was to be repaid over five years at a one percent interest, calling it a political rather than an economic decision.
Bolivia’s foreign debt currently totals $11.62 billion. The government is managing new credits and bond issues so that it will increase to over $14 billion in the coming weeks.
Production was reduced by up to 50% due to the closure of 1,500 farms in Cochabamba. This month, 12 million chickens will be produced, not 18 million as usual. That deficit of 6 million chickens will cause the price of chicken to go up. The increase in the cost of chicken benefits the wholesalers more; producers sell the kilogram of chicken between Bs 12 and Bs 13and the traders sell it for Bs 16.
The Government and the municipalities reached a preliminary agreement for $120 million to attend the emergency of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health will contribute $70 million and $50 million comes from credit from CAF-Development Bank of the Americas that is waiting for the approval of the Legislative Assembly.
The Bolivian state aviation company (BoA) will receive economic support of Bs 30.6 million ($4.39 mn) from the National Treasury – TGN, at a time when it is facing a complicated financial situation resulting from the quarantine that led to the suspension of domestic and international flights.