Contrary to the plan of 1,000 infrastructure works that Alberto Fernández presented throughout the country, one of the pillars of the Casa Rosada for the election year, budget spending on public works is long overdue in the first 75 days of the year.
As he was able to verify Clarion on the official Open Budget site, only 4.64% of the program’s funds Formulation, Programming, Execution and Control of Public Works was accrued in that period, exactly $ 2,229 million of $ 48,022 million in total.
However, taking into account that the initial budget for the area was $ 49,423 million and $ 1,400 million were discounted in these months, the level of formal execution drops to 4.5%.
This is an item, according to the spending plan approved by the Government, whose goal is “the execution of infrastructure works throughout the country, by contracting the execution of public works and financial assistance to provincial governments and municipal “.
According to ministerial sources, the transfer of funds is delayed, but over the months it will be activated and will end up above 90%, as happened in 2020 when, after a first semester of few movements, it adapted and closed the year in line with the rest of the ministries.
In that sense, they differentiate the portfolio that Gabriel Katopodis leads with others that carry out the payment of compensation, plans or salaries, and that require a constant flow of money in their departure. “Here it is not to press a button and turn automatically”, they comment, and they explain that the transfers are carried out as the works packages are approved. For this reason, they argue, Public Works does not have the level of execution of other ministries, which have already disbursed between 15 and 20% of their funds, at least in line with the time elapsed in 2021.
To the date, all Public Works has spent 9.27% of its total budget as a ministry: $ 23,637 million over $ 255,120 million. But in addition to the specific “Formulation and Execution” program, there are others that are far behind.
The one called “Execution of Works, Operation and Maintenance in Road Corridors”, for example, not yet received a single penny of the $ 15,082 million that you have assigned for this year. In an almost identical situation he finds himself “Transportation works infrastructure”: barely received 0.5% of the $ 6,978 million that has stipulated by budget.
Two other programs are shown along the same lines and have to do with infrastructure. “Support for the Development of Educational Infrastructure “is one of them, with resources for the year for $ 6,671 million and an execution of just 0.35% in two and a half months.. The same happens with “Support for the development of urban infrastructure in municipalities”: it received 1.29% of $ 1,163 million.
Of those with the highest specific weight, the items that match the level of execution in Public Works are “resurfacing of national routes”, which has already received $ 592 million from the $ 2,323 million it has, more than 25%. The one that has to do with the “Execution of network rehabilitation and maintenance works through an integral management system” is also advanced: 24.1%, $ 1,996 million over $ 8,285 million. Like the core activities, which already had movements of 19.28% of the budget.
From the municipalities, both the Frente de Todos and Juntos por el Cambio, Public Works, in general, are highlighted as one of the ministries with the greatest feedback, from the fact that Katopodis was mayor of San Martín until he took office in the position of minister. However, in several parties they recognize that shipments are delayed.
The low execution numbers of Public Works contrast with the ambitious plan presented on Monday by President Alberto Fernández and Minister Katopodis, in a ceremony in the town of Almirante Brown, where the mayor is Mariano Cascallares. From there, toThey announced the execution of 1,000 works throughout the country and inaugurated 30 works in 11 provinces, with an investment of $ 9,772 million.
Of the entire package of funds for the sector, Public Works is executing initiatives that imply an investment, over time, of $ 556,780 million, as well as 833 projects in the evaluation and approval process. “We are here to help, the rest does not matter, it is an anecdote. The violent throw stones, we throw works,” said Alberto Fernández at the event.
The Government seeks to shore up public works in the electoral year, trying to strengthen the strategy in municipalities and provinces, and in times of pandemic. Precisely, executive sources assure that the Covid-19 and the reallocation of specific funds to alleviate the virus caused that the rhythm of funds for other areas is not as fluid as in a normal year.
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