The Council of Santa Cruz approved the Annual Operating Plan (POA) for the next administration, which amounts to Bs 2,687 million ($386 mn). It is Bs 785 million ($112 mn) less than in 2019. The situation will affect the implementation of new works in the city, and the continuity of the projects underway.
The Mayor’s Office of La Paz announced this Tuesday that it will give a 60% discount on public transportation taxes and that by 2021 the deal will be 65%. The determination made to support the sector due to the health emergency.
In Bolivia, banks have reprogrammed $932 million to 3.7% of the total portfolio, which totals $24.57 billion as of June 2020. Asoban said that the arrears up to July 2020 amount to $485 million, 1.97% of the total, the same as in 2019. Experts warn that the deferral of credit payments until December endangers the economic and financial stability
From March to July, 141 municipalities in the country invested 185,806,041 bolivianos ($26.5 mn) in emergency care for Covid-19 through 1,357 awards. On June 29, the Government enacted Law 1307, which instructs the return to sub-national governments and universities of up to $200 million of the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH), taken from them since 2015. Municipalities’ budget execution complied by 60%, they want to make purchases, but cannot do so because of the scarcity of inputs, especially in medicines, reagents and tests.
Confronting the pandemic by the new coronavirus and the imposed health measures and the crisis had a fiscal, monetary and financial cost until July of some six trillion dollars, equivalent to 15% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With the latest measures, such as the Employment Plan, this effort will increase further. This cost includes social bonds, subsidization of essential services, deferment of credits, tax relief, injection of resources from the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) and others.
Between January and July, Bolivia’s foreign sales totalled $3.713 billion, 26% less than the same period in 2019. In terms of volume, exports fell by 6%. The textile apparel sector was the most affected, with a 71% drop in value and 70% in volume. Other affected items were minerals with a decline in sales of 38%, leather in 36%, jewellery in 27%, and chestnuts in 25%.
Between January and July, Bolivia’s imports fell by 34% compared to the same period in 2019, due to the impact of Covid-19 and the restrictions imposed by all the countries in the world. Purchases from China, the country that supplies most to Bolivia, fell by 31 percent. IBCE’s technical manager, María Esther Peña, explained that the country’s imports fell due to the restrictions and closing of the borders that the countries applied to stop the pandemic.
As of July of this year, the unemployment rate in the country registered 11.8%, one of the highest in the last 30 years. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) states that 7.9% is an effect of the coronavirus pandemic. Among the most affected sectors are construction, fast food service and commerce.
ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions, announced a partnership with EBANX, a provider of payment and financial solutions for global organisations expanding in Latin America. With the ACI Secure eCommerce solution, EBANX will initially offer local credit card payments, instalments and alternative payment methods for the Latin American market. This collaboration will enable the acceptance of the most relevant payment methods across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
Municipalities expressed their concern to the government about the budget cut of more than 30% of tax co-participation, which represents more than Bs. Seven hundred million ($100mn). They proposed that the National Government grant a compensation fund with credit financing from international organizations.