Colombia expects its central government fiscal deficit for 2010 at 3.9 percent, narrower than the initial target of 4.3 percent, the finance minister said in an interview with local newspaper on Friday.
Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry told Portafolio financial daily that government tax revenues last year were higher than expected, allowing Colombia to lower its estimated deficit.
“We registered an additional tax take of one trillion pesos ($540.6 million) by the end of 2010, which means the deficit should close at 3.9 percent or well below what we expected,” he told the newspaper.
Echeverry also said the government would present a new tax project to Congress that would simplify the country’s tax system but not increase tax rates.
Colombian lawmakers last year approved a tax modification that ended a deduction of 30 percent on some fixed income investments in a measure that will generate an extra $2.7 billion in government revenues.
Colombia has targeted its 2011 fiscal deficits at 4.1 percent for the central government and 3.4 percent for the consolidated deficit. Officials say economic growth should be 4.3 percent for 2010 and around 4.5 percent this year.