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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 15 January 2018

In brief: Paraguay

Paraguay: The finance ministry has formally requested the central bank (BCP) to provide it with a US$90m cash advance so that it can cover central government expenses this month. A ministerial statement said that the advance is necessary to help pay the outstanding national debt and debts owed to government suppliers since last year. The statement said that the request is in line with existing legislation that allows the government to demand up to a 10% advance on tax income levels projected in the national budget. However, the ministerial request raises concerns about Paraguay’s financial position after the national congress approved a 2018 budget for US$13.19bn, which the executive led by President Horacio Cartes warned was “inflated” and unbalanced to the tune of US$40m.