Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Monday that the government is planning to cut down operating costs by $493 million.
According to official sources the President intends to reduce state costs in the budget for 2015 as part of an austerity measure to maintain the growth of the economy.
Santos argued that the reduction in operating costs will allow more resources for social investment. it “gives us more space to invest, that is our purpose, to maintain growth in the economy and continued job creation. It will provide more resources to further reduce poverty and that is why we need to reduce operating costs and increase investment spending,” he said.
Santos said the government would look to reduce advertising spending by 40%, travel expenses by 15 %, cell phones and stationery by 15%, as well as official vehicles, fuel and security schemes.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said President Santos asked his ministers to identify entities in their offices “that could be deleted without affecting in the delivery of government services,” but did not specify the number of units. One of the entities that will disappear is the Financial Regulatory Agency, whose duties will fall to his office.
he President said that the savings are in lieu of the budget bill currently being discussed in Congress, which includes an article “where there is a requirement in a reduction of overhead costs by ten percent. The only sectors that were excluded are the defense sector and the sector of election expenses, because they are costs that can not be reduced,” explained Santos.
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