Budget Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG15: Life on Land

Budget Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG15: Life on Land

The purpose of this paper is to carry out a budgetary analysis and evaluation of the progress made in Argentina in relation to Sustainable Development Goal 15 (Life of Land): to combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

This is one of the SDGs set by the United Nations in the framework of the 2030 Agenda, a program to which the country has adhered since 2015 and for which it carried out a process of adaptation of goals and indicators.

To advance with the implementation of the SDG 15, Argentina allocated AR$686 million in direct expenditures as of October (95% for current expenditures and 5% for investments). This amount is 12% higher than that of 2018 in nominal terms and its execution, two months before the closing of the fiscal year, already exceeds 112%. The budgetary significance given to sustainable forest management stands out (91% of direct expenditure related to SDG 15).

The Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development is the main agency responsible for its fulfillment, although there are other government agencies involved in the implementation of related programs or sub-programs.

The analysis of their compliance is difficult due to the scarcity of partial and final targets, and in some cases also of baseline. Their budgetary execution is very uneven at the level of programs and activities, ranging from over-execution of more than 300% to activities with no execution at all.

One example is the National Fund for the Enrichment and Conservation of Native Forests (FNECBN), which began to receive specific budget allocations only in 2010. These never covered the minimum amount provided for by Law 26,331 and were even under-executed in most of the fiscal years.

Public Debt Operations – November 2019

Public Debt Operations – November 2019

During November, interest payments totaled USD1.35 billion, of which 68% were made in foreign currency. The main disbursements were for the IMF Stand-By credit, a BONAR in dollars and the BONTE in pesos.

There were placements of securities and loan disbursements for the equivalent of USD2.11 billion, of which USD834 million were securities, placed almost entirely with different public sector entities.

Temporary advances -non-interest-bearing loans from the Central Bank to the Treasury- were made for AR$60 billion, bringing the stock of this instrument to AR$562.73 billion at the end of the month (AR$384.73 billion below the legal ceiling).

Debt maturities of approximately USD7.3 billion between amortizations (USD4.68 billion) and interest (USD2.62 billion) are to be paid in December.

The debt service maturity profile for the first half of 2020 totals USD45.23 billion. However, when excluding maturities within the public sector, estimated services for the semester are reduced to USD24.31 billion.

Public Debt Operations – September 2019

Public Debt Operations – September 2019

  • At the end of September, the Executive Branch submitted to Congress a Bill for the inclusion of Collective Action Clauses in sovereign bonds under domestic law. The Bill does not include a restructuring proposal but establishes the basis for such restructuring. It would affect domestic marketable government securities issued under Argentine law, which represent 24% of the gross public debt and of which it is estimated that at the end of September 2019 there was about USD27 billion in face value held by private creditors.
  •  Further measures were announced to cover the financial program in the last quarter of the year, and the ban on public credit operations to finance operating expenses was suspended for the rest of the year.
  • During September, there were placements of securities and disbursements for the equivalent of USD291 million and principal and interest payments totaling USD3.25 billion, of which 64% were amortizations. Interest payments totaled USD1.18 billion, of which 69% were made in pesos.
  • For the last quarter of the year, debt maturities are expected to be approximately USD16.75 billion between amortizations (USD11.46 billion) and interest (USD5.29 billion), of which 62% will be paid in pesos. The approval of the fifth review of the IMF Stand-By program and the respective disbursement is still pending.
Public Debt Operations – August 2019

Public Debt Operations – August 2019

  • With the financial markets facing an episode of extreme volatility, the Executive Branch announced in August a rescheduling of the maturities of Treasury bills held by institutional holders.
  • The rescheduling reversed the maturity burden: under the original terms, 77% of the payments were to be made this year. But under the new schedule, 72% will be cancelled in 2020. Estimated maturities for 2019 are reduced by USD9.3 billion, but because of the extension of maturities, an additional USD1.47 billion of interest will accrue with respect to the original payment schedule.
  • Placements of securities and loan disbursements for the equivalent of USD1.8 billion were recorded in August, mainly with transactions within the public sector.
  • Principal and interest cancellations for USD17.06 billion were made during the month, of which 96% were for repayments of principal. The major amortizations for the month were the cancellation of bonds issued as collateral for repo transactions.
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