The Paraguayan government announced on Monday a recovery plan amounting to $ 2,513.6 million for the country’s productive sectors after the economic downturn due to the quarantine of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s president, conservative Mario Abdo Benítez, said at a press conference that 2.15 billion dollars of the amount are reallocations of credits previously obtained for public banks and that only 350 million will require new sources of financing.
The plan, called “Ñapu’a” (let’s get up in Guaraní) contemplates a fund of 1,372.3 million dollars for infrastructure and employment, 676 million for development credits and 465.3 million in social protection and labor retraining and support for trade frontier.
Before presenting the plan together with several members of his economic cabinet, Abdo Benítez reported on the credit line of 1.6 billion dollars, authorized by Congress at the beginning of the pandemic and of which, he said, there is a remnant of 497 million dollars undisbursed.
“We have to present an economic recovery plan because there are many sectors that require a lot of assistance from the state, and although we believe that these measures are going to be insufficient, we have very good experiences,” he said.
And he referred to the economic contingency program that he promoted in April last year and that allowed him to weather the regional economic slowdown, weather problems, to close 2019 with a growth of 0.2% compared to an initial forecast of 5%.
“The month of July is going to be very important to be able to measure how we are as a country and it has other characteristics because it increases the risks that are natural in the winter season,” stressed the head of state.
Paraguay, which is in the third and penultimate phase of the so-called smart quarantine, added two new deaths last weekend, bringing the total number of deaths to 15, plus just over 2,000 infections.
For his part, the Minister of Finance, Benigno López, said that the pandemic, which has motivated the economic paralysis since March 11, has brought out “the good and the bad that we have built in this time, in recent years fifteen years”.
“When we talk about the good, we talk about resilience we talk about fiscal and monetary strength, and about weaknesses we talk about the lack of adequate investment in human capital and poor quality of spending, which affects the provision of services,” said López .
He added that thanks to the emergency program, citizens could be relieved with suspensions of basic service accounts such as water and electricity, tax exemptions and the expansion of social programs that allowed aid to be extended to more than 2 million people.
“And now we have a plan that indicates an hour ahead, of how we think we are going to get out of this unexpected, uncertain situation that we have to go through,” said the minister, who stressed that a job restructuring is also expected. .
This refers to the idea of formalizing “almost 770,000 people who today have no health (coverage) and retirement”, alluding to the fact that between 60 and 70% of employment is informal in the country, with 7 million inhabitants.
And he added that there is also the idea of creating for the first time in the country an employment insurance that was seen today as necessary in the situations that we have to live in. “
And it is that the Social Welfare Institute (IPS) had to face a pandemic subsidy to around 140,000 workers who went into temporary unemployment in the absence of insurance to assist unemployment.