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LatinNews Daily - 01 October 2021

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In brief: El Salvador’s finance minister unveils 2022 budget proposal

* El Salvador’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya has unveiled the government’s proposed budget for 2022 which is for US$7.97bn, up US$400m on the 2021 budget. The proposed budget, which is based on projected GDP growth of 2.4% for next year and a fiscal deficit of US$498.4m, down from US$815.2m for the current budget, includes US$1.7bn earmarked for public investment, up US$333m on the previous budget. According to Zelaya 43% of the proposed budget is for health, education, security and defence, with education to receive US$1.47bn, equivalent to 5.1% of GDP, and health to receive US$1.08bn (3.8% of GDP), while US$890m would go on security (3.1% of GDP). Meanwhile US$227m would go on public works, including US$22m to begin construction of the Francisco Morazán viaduct on the Los Chorros section of the Pan-American Highway in La Libertad department. The budget proposal now goes to the 84-member unicameral national legislature (which is controlled by the ruling Nueva Ideas) for approval.