Petro Administration Releases New National Development Plan Promising Massive Social Policy Shift
The administration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Monday released the country’s new National Development Plan, highlighting their objectives of massive social policy reform and an ambitious and comprehensive public investment strategy worth trillions of pesos.
The new National Development Plan, subtitled “Colombia: World Power of Life” was submitted to Congress on Monday by President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez, with a theme of utilizing the country’s resources towards more socially-conscious aims to protect life in general.
The new plan aligns around goals of the Petro administration, including his “total peace” initiative. “[The plan] aims to lay the foundations for the country to become a leader in the protection of life from of the construction of a new social contract that promotes the overcoming of injustices and historical exclusions, the non-repetition of the conflict, the change in our relationship with the environment and a productive transformation based on knowledge and in harmony with nature,” said Petro.
The plan has five points of foci, including changing “land use planning and development” to bias towards the protection of the environment, “Human security and social justice,” a comprehensive new climate plan, “Human rights to food,” and more interconnected planning between regional powers in the area.
According to the administration, implementation of the plan is estimated to cost around $250 billion COP over the next four years. They propose funding through a mix of public investments and investment transfers, royalties from public resources of the country, and potential international deals and cooperation administered by the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation, now headed by Eleanora Betancur, who was appointed after a stint in Medellin’s investment promotion agency, ACI Medellín.
“The total value of the expenses that are carried out for the execution of the present National Development Plan, financed with resources of the general budget of the nation, may not exceed in any case the amount of the resources available in accordance with the macroeconomic plan and the Framework Medium Term Prosecutor -MFMP- of the national government in accordance with the provisions of articles 4 and 5 of Law 1473 of 2011,” said a statement issued by the Presidency.
The majority of the proposed plan goes to human security and social justice, which is projected to take up 64% of the value of the proposed plan. Regional convergence, which will focus on “reducing social and economic gaps between households and regions in the country,” will receive 12%, while climate action-related projects are projected to consume 10% of the plan’s budget.
A focus on indigenous communities as well as the Petro administration’s peace plan is also prominently featured within the plan, with the establishment of a “Colombia in Peace” fund and other funds earmarked specifically for the peace process, which for now is focused on talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN).