LatinNews Daily - 14 September 2022

In brief: Colombia’s 2023 budget proposal amended

* The economic commissions of both chambers of Colombia’s congress have approved modifications to the 2023 national budget requested by President Gustavo Petro’s government. The budget now amounts to Col$405.6trn (US$91.8bn), following the Petro administration’s request to add Col$14.2trn to the amount approved in late July under Petro’s predecessor, Iván Duque (2018-2022). The final budget is now Col$53trn greater than the 2022 budget. Of the total budget, Col$254.6trn will be destined for the running of government, Col$73trn will go on investment, and Col$78trn on debt servicing. According to a statement from the finance ministry, priority areas for spending will include agrarian development and agrarian reform, education, healthcare, water sanitation, rural housing, and programmes related to the peace process. However, the division of funds will first need to be debated and approved by congress. Following the commissions’ vote of approval, Finance Minister José Antonio Ocampo also urged legislators to approve the government’s tax reform bill, stating that despite the increase to the budget, the extra tax revenue was still necessary to make up a “shortfall” in the government’s spending plan.

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