Colombia will postpone some public spending to guarantee “fiscal sustainability” as congressional and presidential elections approach, a statement from the finance ministry said on Tuesday.
Congressional elections are scheduled for March and the presidential vote is in May.
“The government believes it must act with total responsibility, especially during an election year, in order to not risk the stability of public finances,” the statement said.
On Monday the government plans to announce its financing plan and fiscal targets for 2010.
Economists have criticized President Alvaro Uribe for spending too much on popular social programs as his supporters try to change the constitution to allow him to run for an unprecedented third term.
The Constitutional Court is expected to decide in the weeks ahead whether to approve a proposal passed by Congress calling for a referendum asking voters if Uribe should be allowed to stand in the May election.
Finance Minister Oscar Zuluaga said last month he expects to report a consolidated fiscal deficit of 2.6% of gross domestic product for last year and a 3.5% deficit in 2010. He sees a central government fiscal deficit of 4.0% of GDP in 2009 and 4.3% in 2010.
Colombia’s central bank bought COP3 trillion pesos (US$1.52 billion) in local TES treasury paper in late 2009, the bank said later on Tuesday.
Toward the end of October last year the bank said it would buy TES as part of efforts to boost local market liquidity.