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ARGENTINA | 18-06-2024 16:14

Milei moves to replace previous government’s plan for public works

Executive Branch draws up guidelines to review ongoing works and assess their continuity and control; Plan put in place by previous government, led by Alberto Fernández, to be ended.

Argentina is moving forward with the implementation of the new public works model and has laid out guidelines that will put an end to a previous scheme introduced by the previous government.

President Javier Milei’s government plans to put an end to the ‘Argentina Hace’ plan for public works projects created during former president Alberto Fernández’s time in office.

The Executive Branch intends to evaluate ongoing projects to determine their level of completion, previous awarding of funds and how much it will cost to complete them. Its goal is to transfer their management and responsibilities for completion to the respective provinces and municipalities.

The directives were outlined by the Economy Ministry via Resolution 452/2024, published on Tuesday on the Official Gazette

In the text, the Milei government states “it is appropriate to establish guidelines for projects or works that are ongoing within the ‘Argentina Hace’ Plan, which must be followed by the Public Works Secretariat, dependent on the Economy Ministry.”

Highlighting the declaration of an “economic, financial, fiscal, administrative, pension, public service, healthcare and social emergency” in Argentina by President Milei last December, it says “different measures have been taken conducive to achieving greater efficiency and efficacy in national affairs.”

Underlining the challenging economic context facing the country, the resolution argues that “no federal government has received a worse institutional, economic and social legacy than the current administration, which is why it is essential to adopt measures that help overcome the emergency situation created by the exceptional economic and social conditions currently being experienced by the nation, especially as a result of a set of interventionist decisions.”

Laying out its plan, President Milei said his administration would evaluate agreements made under the Argentina Hace plan and the state of public works under construction.

If non-compliance is observed by the province, municipality or other executing body, measures may be taken to “correct the irregularity, recover the appropriate funds and/or terminate the agreement,” according to the resolution. 

The relevant regional partner will, in turn, be urged to complete the works with their own funds.

The viability of the province, municipality or other executing body overtaking the financing of the works without any aid from the State will also be analysed.

In case the province, municipality or other executing body cannot continue with projects, cases will be assessed on an individual basis, taking into account the progress of the works, public interest and the costs it carries, according to the government.

Any works where financial aid is continued must be completed in up to 120 days, though the period may be extended in exceptional circumstances.

President Fernández’s Argentina Hace Plan will be disregarded six months upon expiration of a 120-day period, said the government. 

The public works scheme, launched by Fernández in January 2020 to execute infrastructure works across 2,307 municipalities nationwide, was created a view to “generating local employment with gender parity.”

The projects, which were intended to generate 20,000 jobs, contemplate public works to access drinking water, sanitation and sewers, water infrastructure, accessibility and urban and rural connectivity, and social equipment.

 

– TIMES/NA
 

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