May 4, 2023, 11:58 PM
May 4, 2023, 11:58 PM
One hour of large discussion and at least four hours of detailed discussion were enough for the two wings of the masista bench that supported with 20 votes all the time so that the The law for the Purchase of Gold Destined to Strengthen International Reserves is sanctioned and passed to the Executive for its promulgation. In that way, ‘arcistas’ and ‘evistas’ forgot their quarrels and passed the law.
“Having been approved in its two stations in large and in detail, and being the Chamber of Senators the reviewing chamber, this law is sanctioned, refer to the Executive Branch for constitutional promulgation purposes”, said the president of the Senate at 00:10 this morning on Friday, May 5.
Thus ended the path a project that was presented in May 2021 and curiously, he was sanctioned two years later in the same month, in eventful sessions, both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate. The most questioned articles were 8 and 9 by opponents.
In the first case, Senator Fernando Vaca from Beni denounced that he is a direct benefit for cooperative members and in an underhanded way, because this sector asked not to pay taxes and this article frees all gold sellers from the two types of taxes that are paid.
“Gold sales in the domestic market intended exclusively to increase International Reserves within the framework of this law are exempt from Transaction Tax – IT and subject to the zero rate of the Value Added Tax – VAT”, states article 8 of the new law.
While article 9 authorizes the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) to pledge the gold, but without the permission of the Assemblythat was the observation of Senator Silvia Salame, who proposed an alternative wording, but Senator Hilarión Mamani said that the Minister of Economy, Marcelo Montenegro, explained to them that when they try to pledge gold, money can be lost because the permission of the Assembly takes time and speed is required for those cases.
“The BCB will carry out operations in the international markets with the gold reservesbeing able to buy, invest, deposit in custody, use hedging instruments, transform and convert them into currencies, in order to optimize the liquidity and/or performance of the International Reserves”, the article states and also authorizes the BCB to replenish the reservations and every four months it will only report its actions to the Assembly.
According to Senator Salame, the wording of the BCB Law (Law 1670) should be preserved in the sense that the issuing entity must request permission from the Assembly to guarantee Bolivia’s gold reserves in foreign banks.
Despite the observations and arguments of the opposition caucus, MAS retained its voting average of 19 votes for the nine articles, three transitory provisions, a final provision and another repeal.
The CC bench denounced that this law was approved irregularly both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, pbecause in Deputies there were votes in a dark room and also double voting; while in the Senate it was put on the debate table without following the regular channel.