Moreno vetoes parts of new economic law
President Lenin Moreno has vetoed 66 provisions of Ecuador’s Law of Productive Development although he allowed most of the legislation to stand. The law was passed by the National Assembly on June 21. Moreno’s main objections were to “vague language” regarding the national debt limit and to what he considered excessive allowance of tax breaks to businesses. He opposed suspension of the 40 percent debt ceiling to GDP except in cases of national emergencies and added a national savings fund to be used when revenues from natural resource sales exceed budgeted projections. He also vetoed provisions granting an exoneration of unpaid taxes to some businesses as well grants of tax credits he considered unnecessary. According to Finance Minister Richard Martinez, the vetoes “improve the good work of the assembly.”
Cuenca gasoline supplies return to normal
The waiting time for a fill-up of gasoline should return to normal today, Petroecuador officials say. Some Cuenca gas stations reported lines of 10 to 20 vehicles between Monday and Wednesday morning waiting for fill-ups. Petroecuador reported that a pump malfunction Sunday night on the Pascuales-Cuenca gasoline pipeline was the cause of the shortage. “The equipment has been repaired and the pipeline is functioning normally again,” an official said Wednesday morning. The gasoline pipeline, from Guayaquil to Cuenca, supplies gasoline for most of Ecuador’s southern mountain region.
Road patrols look for drugs and weapons
A joint operation by local and national police is conducting vehicle checks in Azuay Province with the aim of reducing crime. Personnel from the National Police, the Azuay Citizen Guard and civil traffic agents are searching for drugs, weapons, stolen property and other “objects of dubious origin.” Authorities are also verifying drivers licenses and cedulas, and conducting data base checks for criminal activity. The operation began Wednesday and will continue for an indefinite period of time, police say.
Quito taxi drivers protest government delays, Uber service
Thousands of Quito taxi drivers marched Tuesday and Wednesday protesting municipal delays in vehicle registration and a lack of enforcement of laws against unregistered taxi services. Taxi drivers say they may go on strike if their objections are not addressed. The Quito municipal council voted June 26 to suspend the registration of 8,693 taxis, saying that a top-to-bottom audit of the system was necessary. Taxi drivers claim that delay is affecting those who have fulfilled legal registration requirements and must wait for the audit to be completed. In addition, drivers claim the city is not doing enough to crack down on hundreds of illegal taxis operating in the city, including those of international on-line services such as Uber.