After long debate in the Senate and Congress, President Juan Manuel Santos’ “National Development Plan 2010-2014” gets the green light.
The ambitious Plan proposes an investment of approximately $316 billion in the country until 2014, of which $95 billion will come from the private sector to boost economic growth to a sustained level of above 5%. Santos hopes furthermore to bring 2.5 million Colombians out of poverty, reduce unemployment to 9% and continue with social welfare programs.
Of these, the greatest controversy revolved around controlling gasoline prices and Senator Luis Fernando Velasco’s proposal to develop an internal tariff on fuel to alleviate monthly price hikes. However, the proposal was eventually passed 34 votes to 31 with Velasco saying that on May 10, he will present a new formula to reduce the price per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel by $0.55.
Both houses also backed the inclusion of decrees relating to assistance to flood victims that were issued by the government after January 7, 2011 and subsequently struck down by the Constitutional Court in late March, reported Caracol Radio.
The debate ended at midnight on Wednesday, leaving just some key issues to be debated Thursday afternoon before full approval. By law, the bill needs to be fully approved by Saturday to be put into action.