The national government will begin to turn to the provinces today a part of the 120,000 million pesos to attend the health crisis unleashed by the coronavirus, as established in Decree 352/2020, published this Thursday in the Official Gazette.
President Alberto Fernández He agreed to turn the first tranches of this fund through this decree last Tuesday, when he met with the governors to define the scope of the extension of the mandatory quarantine to mitigate COVID-19.
In this way, the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo Wado de Pedro, It will send $ 20 billion today and another $ 10 billion the last week of April. The rest of the $ 120 billion of the ATN global package will be rotated during the rest of the year.
“The President promised to help the governors and that is what we are going to do,” he explained to Infobae a close friend of Alberto Fernández who this Wednesday afternoon was reviewing with the interior minister the districts that are facing greater economic complications as a result of the fall in activities due to the quarantine of the coronavirus.
Half of that $ 120 billion corresponds to Contributions from the National Treasury (ATN) and the rest are loans to a provincial trust fund at very low rates.
The ATN that the Ministry of the Interior has are for exceptional cases and that they are distributed, as the law indicates, in 80% by the tax co-participation rate and the remaining 20% based on the population of each district. But in this case the money transfers will also be agreed with the Ministries of Health and Social Development.
The issue of financial problems that are beginning to be seen in the provinces was one of the axes of the videoconference that Alberto Fernández shared yesterday in the Olivos estate with the governors.
Many governors complained that they do not make ends meet to pay wages. In fact, Ricardo Quintela, Governor of La Rioja, He assured today that the province will guarantee the payment of salaries for April, although he refused to provide details regarding what will happen to May salaries in the public administration.
As a consequence of the low economic activity derived from restrictions due to the advance of the coronavirus in Argentina and in the world, the La Rioja governor maintained: “This month we are guaranteed payment of wages, next month I do not know. We have the same problems as all the provinces, we are all going through a difficult situation due to this pandemic. “
This same situation presents other provinces. Although in the Casa Rosada they clarified Infobae that the funds that will be turned over to the governors in the concept of ATN will be intended to pay for health supplies, cover expenses for health personnel and other inconveniences that the provincial leaders find when facing the crisis caused by the coronavirus .
Also in the Government they clarified that these funds will be distributed according to the severity of cases of contagion of coronavirus and deaths from that disease that are in the various districts of the country.
Finally, among the recitals of the Decree it was argued “that the health and social crisis impacts on the normal functioning of the provincial administrations, which are in need of meeting higher demands for expenses in a context of falling collection of national and provincial taxes“