The private sector on alert for cuts in public works

30 10 22obrap 1444801

A rule in writing in politics explains that, in our country, the years pairs have a certain austerity and greater probability to face adjustment and control measures in the expenses of the different levels of the state. On the other hand, the odd years are the greatest expansion and resource deployment. Quienes have a weakness for thinking badly about politics, suelen finding strong coincidences between the periods of greater deployment of expenditure and the inversion with the grills and different electoral schedules.

Thus, concepts such as ‘the cement vote’ were consolidated, to accompany the idea that the voters are (we are) sensible to the development of the works that the governors execute. And even in the last elections called cement vote, a competitor emerged, ‘the pocket vote’, which gives an account of the degradation in the expectations and preferences of the electorate, which very likely has other priorities rather than complaining, evaluating or conforming to it. arrival of a work to your city.

As it is, recent historical references show that, undoubtedly, in the odd years —of electoral compulsa—, the disbursements destined for public work increase considerably. A scenario that can be modified in the short term, in which the external restrictions and the level of indebtedness in the country demand progress in the cut of expenditures and in the reduction of the fiscal deficit agreed with the IMF.

“This time we are going to touch nosotros. The government has to continue cutting expenses if it wants the IMF to continue turning funds. The governors are negotiating strong in this regard, because the cut in public works also affects them. But it is very difficult to avoid. The political adjustment has little impact and never fails. The big ones are social security expenses, retirements and social plans. I’m not going to play it”, recalled a public work entrepreneur in a private meeting with colleagues.

In this same meeting, in which some members of the press participated, another entrepreneur explained: “You can save a little money on energy, but we have had many internal consultations. The Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline will be in operation for the beginning or the middle of 2024, the sea, in the winter of 2023 we will have to import from new. Y a eso hay que sumarle las malas previsiones para el campo el año que viene. We are not going to have this production if the sequía catches on as expected. Everything indicates that the adjustment will be in the public work”.

In dialogue with PROFILE CÓRDOBA, a local referent of the sector provided a clarifying plan: “When you want to confuse and decide that the public work is firm, showing the cement dispatches. But the cement consumes the public work and also the private work. There’s one more illuminating input on what’s going on: the asphalt. The mitad of the public work of the country is vial. Es decir, paths, routes, highways, alleys, which demand asphalt. And this demand has been falling since August of this year”.

In addition to certain data, such as this last one, and a scenario of adjustment in the immediate horizon, several alarm lights were set in the sector.

The theme could even be planted publicly. The post taken by the directors of the Chamber of Construction Argentina, Delegation Córdoba, which in the 9th Conference on Infrastructure focused on the elements: that the adjustment of the Nation is glimpsed with the sub-execution of departures for the public work and that The impact of an accelerated inflation added to the complications to import machinery generates a corrosive cocktail inside the finances of the companies.

“We have uncontrolled inflation, lack of inputs and materials, incessant increases in the same, changes in marketing conditions, increases in financial costs, which I put many contractors in a limit situation. In the national public work, the assumptions continue to be executed, deepening a brake on capital expenditures. In this fiscal adjustment line, the unjustified delays in certifications and payments in redeterminations were deepened, at times when high inflation is a substantial loss for the contractor. In the last quarter, this situation has worsened”, stated Luis Lumello, president of the entity.

—Can you imagine a good 2023 to be electoral or will it be an atypical year for public works?
-Ninth. I believe that, at least at the national level, it is not going to be. If you are executing works and stepping on assumptions to stop spending. Now everything that passes to Economy, and Economy defines you quarterly what assumptions you can spend on works; It’s a very complicated topic, it has to be very well calibrated because if not there, big gaps and empiezan las dedas quedan in the aire take place.

—Do you have an estimate of how this adjustment could be?
—No, because there is a contradiction between what the government says and what happens in reality. Last year it was decided that this year will be the year of major public work and today we meet with presupuestaria submission and delay in the payment of certificates. There is an important contradiction between advertising and reality, so we cannot estimate the low level of investment in public works. This year the investment will be 1.2% on the GDP, but it will be low. Everything indicates that they will continue to adjust, if there are sectors such as health or education that have lost participation in distribution, no doubt that public work, which has always been the adjustment variable, will suffer.

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