Congress Approves Bill to Modify Plebiscite Date: Progresses With Economic Initiative to Tackle COVID-19
24 marzo 2020

On March 24, the Chamber of Deputies passed an Executive branch bill to support families and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the light of the COVID-19 crisis in Chile. The initiative will now pass to the Senate. Meanwhile, the Senate has separately passed a bill to postpone the electoral calendar, meaning that the constitutional plebiscite, originally set for April 26, would now be on October 25. This still has to be enacted by the Government.

The Executive branch bill offering support in the face of coronavirus comes as part of the government’s broader economic emergency package. The initiative seeks to increase the authorized debt ceiling, the BancoEstado capitalization, and rules on the issue of a bond by the Social Security Institute (IPS, for its acronym in Spanish), in a single installment no later than 90 days after the enactment of the law.

It would also temporarily reduce Stamp Tax to 0%, applicable to financial credit operations performed between April 1 and September 30 this year. It is expected that the costs of credits requested by companies and individuals will be considerably reduced as a result, allowing them to acquire new resources to see them through the difficult economic situation.

Meanwhile, the bill seeking to postpone the constitutional plebiscite until October 25 had already been agreed upon by the different Chilean political parties last week. It also proposes holding the primaries for mayoral elections on November 29 this year, while the final elections of mayors, councilors and governors would be on April 11, 2021.