Colombian Congress approved the country’s 2011 budget, valued at COP147.3 trillion ($81.3 billion).
Congress’ economic commissions approved additions worth COP4 trillion made to the budget by the Finance Ministry. Of this, COP3.17 trillion ($760.4 million) will be invested in the government’s “locomotives” of development; housing, infrastructure, mining, agriculture and innovation. President Juan Manuel Santos has set out his plans to increase investment in these areas, in order to achieve “democratic prosperity” for Colombia.
The remaining sum, less than COP900 billion, will be distributed among the budgets of various ministries.
Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said that the budget fit the country’s economic reality, in terms of the need for fiscal caution. He described it as austere, responsible, and appropriate.
Echeverry said that only COP2 trillion of the additions to the budget will have a fiscal impact, allowing the government to reach its target of a 4.1% fiscal deficit in 2011.
Echeverry said that the government’s income will only increase by 7.8% in 2011, so fiscal austerity is important. He said that the budget sent a clear signal to national and international markets, as there will not be a rise in the predicted fiscal deficit.
The budget is now awaiting approval by the Congress and Senate’s plenary sessions