The pay of a second Christmas bonus proposed by the Government is still contested by the private sector and also by the main trade union in Bolivia. The Morales Administration confirmed that the Christmas bonus should go ahead because the economy will grow 4.61%. However, the private sector represented by the Confederación de Empresarios Privados de Bolivia (CEPB), rejected the initiative arguing that it will put the economy and jobs at risk. Meanwhile, the main trade union (COB) rejected all the government proposals to comply with the payment of the bonus and demanded its cancellation before 20 December.
The payment of the second end-of-year bonus must be fulfilled regardless who likes it or not, insisted the Work Minister, Andres Hinojosa. However, the private sector keeps its position of not paying the bonus as it considers it a “perverse decree” that impacts profoundly on revenues, according to the representative of private entrepreneurs, Wilfredo Rojo. Both sectors hope to reach an agreement that allows overcoming the impasse.
The Bolivian State and the Bolivian Mining Corporation (Comibol) were excluded from the arbitration process that the Indian Jindal Steel began against the state-owned Mutun Steel Company (ESM), informed the Bolivian government. Jindal seeks compensation of $US86 million after the Morales Administration executed a warranty bill for not finishing the steel project in Mutun.
“By September this year, twelve of 31state-owned companies have implemented only 24.4% of their budget, according to the Ministry of Economy.
The telecommunications satellite Tupac Katari has generated revenues of around $US100 million since 2014 and the number of clients exceeds the 200 companies in the country. The director of the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) stressed that the cost of the satellite would be covered in 15 years maximum.
Bolivia looks to guarantee that it has enough cobalt reserve to ensure the production of lithium batteries in the country. Cobalt, next to lithium, is a key component for the production of lithium batteries. Government representatives have recently inspected San Luis Mine in Potosi to ensure that the country has enough reserves of cobalt, so the production of lithium batteries in the country can go ahead.
Mining company San Cristobal extract in 2017 a total of 634,000 tonnes of zinc-silver and plumb-silver concentrate. According to former Mining Minister, Dioniso Garzon, San Cristobal’s production is equivalent to 50% of all extractions in Bolivia and represent around 25% of the incomes.
“State-owned companies produced Bs. 51,360 million in incomes between 2006 and 2017, said Veronica Ramos, director of the Technical Bureau for the Strengthening of the Public Enterprise (OFEP).
The Bolivian State Oil corporation (YPFB) pays to sugar mills in the country up to 26.7% more for ethanol than the market price in Brazil. Sugar mills are paid $US0.71 cents per litre while in Brazil the price is $US0.52 cents.
Bolivia is in contact with Brazil and Argentina to review the gas agreements with the two countries. According the Hydrocarbons Minister, Luis Alberto Sanchez, said that the negotiations will impact on the volume of shipments but it can be expected that the prices will not change. However, regional authorities in Bolivia feared that the new contracts will have a negative impact on royalties.