Colombian Senate approves 2012 budget

Colombia’s Senate approved the nation’s budget at $86.89 billion for the 2012 fiscal year in a second debate.

Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry explained that initially the budget had a value of $97.24 billion but in agreement with Joint Economic Commissions it was decreased to $86.89 billion with the view that the nation’s fiscal deficit for 2012 would not surpass the figure of 3%.

“It is a serious law that gives more investment and less and less debt. It is very difficult to please everybody when you vote on a law of this nature,” said Echeverry.

Of the total funds, $47.21 billion will go towards operating expenses, $20.42 billion to servicing the debt and $19.37 towards investment. The approval of the budget means there was a 15.1% increase from the 2011 budget of $76.37 billion.

The finance minister said the budget is conducive to financial stability and seeks to meet the spending needs of all sectors.

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