The first draft of next year's budget bill will be sent to Congress on Wednesday and it expects the country to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to refinance its record US$45-billion loan.
President Alberto Fernández said the assumption requires his administration to keep working on a new agreement with the Washington-based lender to replace the 2018 programme that failed to lift the crisis-prone economy. Although the Argentine government has been in talks with the IMF for more than a year, the negotiations have produced nothing concrete that would lead to a new programme.
"We will present the budget assuming that next year we do not have to fulfil external commitments," Fernández said this Wednesday at the Casa Rosada, discussing the budget bill. "If that agreement did not exist, we have to face the payment of US$19 billion next year."
Argentina aims to negotiate a 10-year plan, known as an extended fund facility agreement, with the Fund that would allow it to refinance the US$45 billion it owes to the Fund. The South American nation, which is excluded from international debt markets, must pay the organisation more than US$4 billion before the end of the year, including US$1.9 billion as soon as next week.
On Sunday, Fernández's coalition suffered a major defeat in the congressional primary elections.