The Plurinational State of Bolivia reactivates its economic indicators barely a year after the return to power of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), following the right-wing coup d’état in October 2019.
Data disclosed by official sources demonstrate it, in the midst of the opposition’s bid to destabilise the country and attempt to cover up the organisers of the coup, which violently removed the leader of the MAS, Evo Morales.
The successes are a response to the economic reactivation and the social politics promoted by President Luis Arce’s government, to benefit the most dispossessed, the recovery and investment in key sectors and the continuity of development strategies.
The economy has evolved in a short period of time and there has been progress in sectors such as health and education.
In this direction, the Value Added Tax Cash Rebate Regime stands out, which returned some 3 million dollars to taxpayers up to August. Arce says that more than 56,000 people registered with the National Tax Service to receive this benefit, which allows ‘redistribution of income among the people’.
Meanwhile, the vice-minister of Electricity and Alternative Energies, José María Romay, revealed that Bolivia will reach 94.6 per cent electricity coverage in December as part of the principle of universalisation of basic services.
He stressed that based on investments in this sector in 2021, the estimate for urban areas is to reach 99.6 percentage points of electrification, while in rural areas it would be 85.5.
Romay recalled that during the short period of the coup government, these development projects were paralysed and damaged by the bad decisions of those who administered the National Electricity Company and its subsidiaries.
Progress indicators are also shown by the revenues obtained from the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) abroad, which closed the first half of 2021 with dividends of 42.3 million dollars, 24 million more than in the same period of 2020.
Willan Donaire, Vice-Minister of Industrialisation, Commercialisation, Transport and Storage of Hydrocarbons, stressed that the increase in exports means more income for Bolivians and shows that “we are moving in the right direction”.
He recalled that last year the population queued up to get LPG and fuel and assured that ‘that will not happen again’.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), at the end of the first half of the year, Bolivia’s domestic product had a cumulative variation of 9.36%, which is evidence of a clear process of recovery in economic activity.
Among the sectors with the best reactivation were medium and cooperative mining, which showed a strong rebound due to the “incentives received from the current government and favourable external conditions”, according to the INE.
An online survey, conducted between 4 and 27 September by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung-Bolivia, among political actors, analysts, journalists and specialists in different fields, showed a promising outlook for the economic future, with 46.6 per cent of respondents believing that the country “will improve somewhat and a lot”.
Only 7.6 of those surveyed considered that the situation in the country will go in the opposite direction. (PL)