For second consecutive year, Colombia’s Congress has approved a record budget. This time, the budget is 5.3% bigger than the previous record of around $88 billion USD, reaching now $93 billion USD.
The budget is predicated on an economic growth target of 4.3% for 2022, compared with the government’s forecast expansion of 6% for this year, and uses a fiscal deficit target for 2022 of 7% of gross domestic product
Colombia’s central bank forecasts economic growth of 8.6% for 2021. The proposal allocates 209.1 trillion pesos for government operating costs, 2.6% more than this year, while proposed debt payments would rise 1.6% to 71.6 trillion pesos.
It also includes 69.6 trillion pesos for social spending, up from 18.8% in this year. This includes salary subsidies for businesses to boost employment, including for youth and women. The bill will also temporarily suspend restrictions on public contracts being awarded during election years, in a bid to help economic recovery. The budget will allocate 50.4 trillion pesos for pensions, 49.4 trillion pesos for education, 42.6 trillion pesos for defense, and 41.8 trillion pesos for healthcare.
The bill passed with 68 votes in favor and nine against in the Senate and by 117 in favor and 18 against in the lower house.
Photo courtesy Cámara de diputados de Colombia