Bolivia's Senate Approves 3, Amends 37 Bills

Bolivia's senate has approved the three remaining bills that aim to rectify flaws in various contracts signed with foreign hydrocarbons companies under the country's nationalization plan, government news agency ABI reported.

Following the passage of the first 41 bills at the end of March, the three final bills were delayed as the Podemos party wanted to re-evaluate 37 of the already-approved bills.

Before passing the remaining three bills, Podemos took advantage of the absence of various senators from the ruling MAS party in order to remove an opening paragraph in each of the 37 bills. MAS had refused to take up the issue.

The 37 bills relate to production contracts, while the remaining seven correspond to exploration contracts.

Two MAS senators were present to vote on the issue compared to 11 Podemos senators and two senators from other parties, which could present a problem as these bills are passed on to Bolivia's lower house, local press reported.

The senate also approved a complementary bill to eliminate the surtax to be paid by oil companies on extraordinary profits and establish policies to strengthen the internal market, local press reported.

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