The IMF stated that the project for a third withdrawal of 10% of pension funds that is advancing in Chile's Congress is unnecessary, inappropriate and deteriorates the country's pension system. According to the director of the Western Hemisphere in the IMF, the organisation estimates "that a third withdrawal from the pension fund is not necessary and is not the appropriate vehicle to continue deteriorating a structural factor in the pension system."
President Piñera has signed a new migration law which spent eight years in congress before being passed. This new law replaces one of the oldest immigration laws in Latin America, passed in 1975 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, when the military regime sought to restrict the entry of migrants. According to Piñera, the objective of this new law "is to put order in our house through an orderly, safe and regular policy that allows legal immigration and combats illegal immigration."
Chile's Labor Minister María José Zaldívar submitted her resignation Wednesday to President Sebastián Piñera, who accepted it and announced he would appoint Deputy Patricio Melero to succeed her. Zaldívar's intentions to leave her job were no surprise as the pension reform failed to go her way.
President Sebastián Piñera signed into law an economic aid package for the middle class that includes the delivery of a bonus and an increase in the coverage of the Emergency Family Income (IFE). The total cost of both measures is $6 billion.
The Chilean government has urged the mining industry to step up measures to protect staff from the Covid-19 pandemic as the South American country suffers a massive surge in new cases. The number of new coronavirus cases reported daily in Chile has soared to over 8,000, up from 2,000 last December, putting the country's health service under unprecedented strain.
President Sebastian Piñera proposed delaying elections that will choose a commission to rewrite the country's dictatorship-era constitution, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Piñera said that he will present a proposal, for Congress approval, to postpone the April election until May.
More than 16 million people in Chile are under total quarantine due to increasing cases of COVID-19. The measure, which affects 97% of the country's population, was reinforced with the suspension of permits to make purchases, also including the closure of supermarkets and the suspension of the operation of markets throughout the country. The Chilean hospital network is on the verge of collapse, with an occupancy of 95% and the availability of 147 intensive care (ICU) beds.
Chile´s Government decided to tighten the anti-covid-19 measures already in force after 64 cases of the British strain and 45 of the Brazilian ones were detected out of a total of 7,023 new daily cases of coronavirus were reported. Starting this coming Saturday, mandatory lockdowns are to be imposed on a total 198 communes, affecting around 16 million people, which is tantamount to 86% of the country's population.
The Chamber or Deputies has approved the creation of a royalty for large-scale mining for the extraction of copper and lithium in the Chamber. The text was approved with 91 votes in favour, 36 against and 15 abstentions. The project aims to establish compensation in favor of the State for the exploitation of large copper and lithium mining, equivalent to 3% of the value of sale.
Chile is finalizing the initial part of new regulations for its emerging green hydrogen industry. A document that orients developers on how to present proposed projects to the electricity and fuels regulator (SEC) will be completed soon. The process of drafting the regulations started at the end of September. The regulations will cover installations for hydrogen production, treatment, storage, ground transport and consumption.