June 4th, 2021
1. Senate passes law modifying income tax for corporations
During a special legislative session, the Senate passed a bill reforming corporate income tax. The bill, which was approved without modifications since passing through the Chamber of Deputies, obtained 36 favorable votes from majority coalition Frente de Todos and 26 against from the opposition Juntos por el Cambio. As a result, companies with a taxable profit of up to ARS $5,000,000,000 (USD $52.7 million) will pay a rate of 25%; between ARS $5,000,000,000 and ARS $50,000,000,000 (USD $527.08 million), 30%; and on profits over ARS $50,000,000,000, 35%. The debate was closely followed by the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, and the Secretary of Tax Policy, Roberto Arias. Thus, the amendment will enter into force once the Executive Power moves forward with its enactment and regulation.
2. Legislative election postponement approved; Misiones kicks off electoral calendar
The Senate passed into law a shift in the electoral calendar moving the dates of obligatory primary elections from August 8th to September 12th, and general elections from October 24th to November 14th. The bill received 55 votes in favor, 3 against and 2 abstentions, in a bid to hold elections under better health and epidemiological conditions, and with the highest possible number of vaccinated people. On the other hand, on Sunday, June 6th, the province of Misiones will hold its provincial elections, where 20 provincial deputies and 7 substitutes will be elected, plus councilmen in some localities. The elections in Misiones will be held under strict sanitary conditions, within the framework of the second peak of COVID-19 cases. Although limited to local positions, the elections will serve as a thermometer to measure the social mood and the conformity of citizens with the policies of the national government and management of the pandemic.
3. The Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, presented the management report to the Senate
On Thursday, the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, presented his governmental management report before the Senate, as required by the National Constitution. The same, made up of 1,160 questions asked by the senators, covers a wide range of topics including inflation, the vaccination plan, export duties, public works, among many others. During the session, the official asked to contextualize the discussion “in the health and indebtedness crisis that the country is facing”, while criticizing the opposition. In this sense, he assured that “when the President is gambling on saving the lives of Argentine men and women, the opposition is gambling on the next election and the media is gambling on the rating”. Cafiero also referred to the controversy with Pfizer and assured that the intention of the national government is to continue negotiating with the US laboratory, as well as with the rest of the laboratories that produce vaccines against COVID-19.
Ámbito: Cafiero en el Congreso: críticas para el macrismo, Corte Suprema y defensa del plan de vacunación
Infobae: Fuerte mensaje de Santiago Cafiero a la oposición: “Cuando esto termine, cada uno va a tener que rendir cuentas”
4. Government seeks to accelerate vaccination campaign with arrival of new vaccines
The government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan is slated to accelerate with the arrival of more than two million vaccines from AstraZeneca and the arrival of one million more Sputnik V vaccines, with which it is expected to reach the number of 20 million since the beginning of the pandemic. On the other hand, the National Ministry of Health gave the go-ahead to samples produced at the Richmond laboratory in Buenos Aires, which will start production of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute this month. At the same time, Chamber of Deputies President Sergio Massa called on all the laboratories which have agreements with Argentina to report on the distribution of vaccines, a meeting in which opposition parties will also participate. This summons will take place on Tuesday next week, and after the controversy that arose from statements made by Latin American COVAX fund director Santiago Cornejo, who assured that the country did not accept the shipment of a significant number of the Pfizer vaccine. However, Health Minister Carla Vizzotti denied this version, and Cornejo himself clarified his statements in an e-mail to the official, who shared the content of the e-mail in a press conference
La Nación: Vacunas contra el Covid: llegaron más de 2 millones de dosis de AstraZeneca
Télam: Argentina superó los estándares de calidad y arranca en breve la producción de la Sputnik
Infobae: Massa citó al Congreso a los laboratorios productores de vacunas para dar explicaciones sobre los contratos con el Gobierno
5. Central Bank records record foreign currency influx in April
The Argentine Central Bank reported that foreign currency inflows from foreign trade grew by 70.8% y/y, totaling USD $22.87 billion in the first four months of the year. An uptick in raw material and commodity prices, which are at double last year’s value, is behind this boom. This allowed the bank to collect ARS $862.48 billion (USD $9.09 billion), a 15% increase over May 2020. This increase was driven by revenues collected from export duties, which are not collected by states and go directly to the national government.