Since his arrival to the presidency, Javier Milei has insisted on his idea of getting rid of a part of the public companies that month after month demand multimillion-dollar assistance from the State to cover current expenses.
In fact, one of the most discussed topics of the Omnibus Law is the chapter on privatizations, which, like the rest of the annexes, underwent various modifications. The opposition managed to get the Government to give in its position and of the 40 companies that were initially going to be subject to privatization, only 27 remained. The remaining 13 could pass into private hands, but partially.
In any case, the Casa Rosada plans this year to considerably reduce the amount of transfers that the State makes to these companies so that they can function. In 2023, according to sources consulted, it will be around $5 billion. In this context, according to an analysis by the Open Budget site, so far in 2024, only three state companies have received money for current expenses.
Privatizations: while the future of public companies is defined, only three received assistance in 2024.
Privatizations: while the future of public companies is defined, only three received assistance in January
One of these was Operador Ferroviario SE, that is, Trenes Argentinos, which operates urban passenger lines and long-distance services. As of January 31, 2024, this firm had received $36,370 million in transportation subsidies, which represents 11.16% of the total budgeted for this year.
Another of the firms that has so far received assistance from the State is Belgrano Cargas y Logística, to which $3,932 million (11.67%) was transferred. This firm brings together the three most important freight transportation lines in the country: the Belgrano, San Martín and Urquiza lines. In railway matters, the State also sent $16,998 million to the Transportation Infrastructure System Trust Fund that promotes investments in that sector.
Read also: Jorge Lanata on the Omnibus Law: “So far, Milei is achieving a victory”
Strikingly, the third company that received transfers from the National State is the Fábrica Argentina de Aviones Brigadier San Martín (FAdeA). They transferred $590 million (10% of the total for this year). This company based in Córdoba is dedicated to the production and maintenance of aircraft. Among others, this firm manufactures the Pampa military training aircraft, which are used by the Argentine Air Force (FFA).
Most national state companies have not received financial assistance so far. Photo: Open Budget.
Neither Aerolíneas Argentinas, Correo Argentino, AYSA, Casa de la Moneda or Telám, just to cite examples, have received funds from the State until now. In fact, none of them received transfers for capital expenditures, that is, to improve installed production capacity through real investment in construction or building improvements.
In the privatization annex, the Government left these companies subject to privatization:
General Administration of Ports S.Argentine Airlines S.Argentine Waters and Sanitation S.APublic Content SERoad Corridors SEOfficial Post Office of the Argentine Republic SEConstruction of Housing for the Argentine Navy SEEducr S.Argentine Air Navigation Companies SEArgentine Energy SAFArgentine Aircraft Factory “Brigadier San Martin” SAFargentine Railroads SEAgricultural Technological Innovations SAIntercargo SAUNation Stock Exchange SA Pellegrini S.ANation Reinsurance S.ANation Retirement Insurance SANation Services S.A Buenos Aires Railway Beaches SAPConstituent Technological Pole SARadio and Television Argentina SENaval Workshops Darsena North SACI and N.Te lam S.EDevelopment of Railway Human Capital SAPEMBelgrano Freight and Logistics SAArailway Infrastructure Administration S.ERailway Operator S.ECoal Reserves Fiscal State Company
Public companies subject to partial privatization:
Bank of the Argentine NationNucleoelectric Argentina SAEmpresas Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales SA.Bancos de Inversión y Comercio Exterior S.ACasa de Moneda S.AMilitarian Manufacturing SERRadio of the National University of the Litoral SARadio and Television Service of the University of Córdoba SANew Generation Space Vehicle SAAlimentations Dionisio Water Miners (YMAD)Dioxitek SA
The discussion not only revolves around the companies that make up this list, but also that the UCR and the Federal Coalition seek to have greater control over the eventual privatization process of each company.
Faced with pressure from these blocks, the Government's latest offer established that before carrying out any privatization process, the Chief of Staff of Nicolás Posse, in coordination with the General Sindicature of the Nation “must prepare and make public a comprehensive report on the company and/or society wholly or majority owned by the state in question, which will contain detailed information on its patrimonial, economic, financial, and operational aspects.”
The document will reach the Bicameral Commission for analysis. There you can make recommendations, request more information and make observations.