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Assembly committee passes revised version of economic reform law ahead of final debate

After heated discussion, a revised version of President Lenin Moreno’s Economic Growth Law was approved Friday night by the National Assembly’s economic regime committee. The bill now goes to the full Assembly for final debate.

The National Assembly’s economic regime committee passed a revised version of the economic reform law on Friday. (El Comercio)

Several members of the economic committee said they will vote against the legislation in the full Assembly, explaining that they only voted for it to keep it from becoming law by default under terms of its executive emergency status. The law must be debated and voted on by midnight Sunday to avoid the default.

The final outcome of the legislation is further complicated by new threats from indigenous groups who say they may organize new protests if it becomes law.

The committee version of the law underwent major changes during committee debate, with the original 404 articles being reduced to 185.

Among major changes is one that gives the Assembly review authority over presidential appointments to the Ecuador Central Bank. Other changes include elimination of a tax on digital services, the addition of a tax on sugar-free soft drinks and removal of a provision which would have allowed graduate-level distance learning programs to be established at public universities.

Another change removed direct government authority over the country’s social security agencies, IESS, ISSFA and ISSPOL, which will continued to be governed by autonomous boards.

Remaining unchanged are a new tax on companies with annual sales of more than one million dollars, a tax on mobile phone plans and reductions in the currency exit tax for manufacturers and the cigarette tax.

On Friday, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) repeated its threat to mobilize new protests if the economic reform law goes into effect. “We have made it clear that we will consider taking to the streets once again if this legislation becomes law,” Conaie President Jaime Vargas said. “We demand that it be shelved.”

Conaie submitted its own economic reform proposal to the Assembly two weeks ago but it has not been considered.

10 thoughts on “Assembly committee passes revised version of economic reform law ahead of final debate

  1. You can bet the IMF is behind all of these new laws. There will be another strike. This won’t be good. Stock up on gas masks.

  2. Ha, first it comes out of the economic committee Friday night and then it has to be voted on by Sunday midnight or it becomes law by default …lol…wow, democracy in action…Go Lenin…You are free to do what you want as long as it’s what we want you to do…

  3. Protests, like the ones in October, cause major problems for the whole country. I strongly believe in ones right to protest, but what the Indigenous people did caused more harm than good. Their position is our way or the highway. They care nothing about the other millions of Ecuadorians who were adversely affected by their lawless protests. Change comes at the ballot box, not in the streets. The country should not allow the Indigenous to bring more harm to this country. If they want to protest peacefully, then I’m in their corner. Violent protests, however, should not be allowed and the government should take whatever action is necessary to avoid what happened during the last protests.

    1. “…, not in the streets.”hahha Bless! Did you see what happened in France with the yellow vest movement? Did you hear about a French student in Lyon burning himself alive a few days/weeks ago as a protest against student aid?? I understad your comment but unfortunately, change does not always happen at the ballot box (example brexit), so non-violent protest becomes a requisite.

  4. Yup, genocide will get a group of people REALLY upset ….
    Why all the IMF bashing and so little talk of China ….

  5. Fasten your seat belts, boys & girls, this ride is about to encounter some real turbulence. Things are going to get ugly!

    1. Maybe not. Conaie grew some cojones because the govt. backed down raising gas prices a couple months ago. The organization now has illusions of grandeur. Jaime Vargas fails to realize that conaie was just a part of that resistance. I hope he gets squashed like a bug. What a load of B.S. to tell the govt. of Ecuador to shelve current legislation.

  6. For all you who might have been mildly inconvenienced by the strike. The constitution guarantees the right to demonstrate. The police were totally out of line. They became violent, killed and injured many people including small children. If the government does not comply with their agreement, the next one is coming soon. Most of the Ecuadorians are backing the demonstrators. I suggest that you do the same. It is only the wealthy who are backing Morino. I am not one of them. Life could become bad for me if he continues his program of rob the poor to benefit the rich.

    1. There are two types of demonstrators. The type protected by the constitution, who are peaceful, controlled, and demonstrate during an allotted time period. The second type block roads, destroy property and attempt to hold the country hostage until they get their way (which in this case is a vague concept of take from the rich and give to the poor). The poor might have actually suffered the most last month as propane, food, and other supplies were cut off by thugs blocking the roads. The city of Cuenca suffered physical and economic damage that we will all pay for. It would have been more than just a mild inconvenience if Moreno hadn’t caved when he did. Now, Jaime Vargas followers feel empowered to do it again. I don’t think most Ecuadorians back the second type of demonstrator. I have faith that the majority will back the constitution and it’s system of checks and balances.

  7. Why not demand a referendum to restructure gov’t. from vertical to horizontal, which is virtually incorruptible? The time for accepting corrupt government and their crimes against humanity is over. Have the courage to demand the big change necessary. mofwoofoo@gmail.com

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