The Government has needed additional budgets continuously since 2014 – Explica

From 2014 to 2020 the Government has submitted to the National Congress seven complementary budgets, one every year, to introduce modifications to the budget law after it has been approved.

Almost all the projects have in common the redistribution of the items assigned to the institutions, the increase in the amount initially established and the authorization of financing.

In 2014, Law No. 549-14 was enacted, which introduced reforms to the General State Budget of that year. The amendment contemplated a decrease in the budgetary allocation of the Presidency, the Ministries of Labor, Public Works and Communications, Energy and Mines and the Administration of Obligations of the National Treasury.

Instead, it increased allocations to the Interior and Police, the ministries of Defense, Foreign Relations, Finance, Public Health and Social Assistance, Agriculture, Culture, among others.

It also authorized the Executive Power to enter into a contract with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the amount of US $ 100,000 million for strengthening health sector management.

The 2015 budget was also modified and among the modifications included an increase in budget appropriations (this was not initially contemplated) by more than RD $ 3, 996 million.

In 2016, the budget law was modified to, among other aspects, increase budget allocations for more than RD $ 4,650 million for transfer them to the electricity sector.

In addition, “to cover the decrease in income and new appropriation requirements” financing increased by more than RD $ 11,802 million.

Remember that in 2016 presidential elections were held in the country, being elected for the second time the President Danilo Medina after a constitutional reform the previous year that allowed its re-election.

The 2017 budget was also modified. The modifications included an increase of RD $ 1,879 million.

This reform included the authorization to the Executive Branch to increase the financial sources of the budget by more than RD $ 29,514 million. Of that amount, some US $ 500,000 million were placed by the Government in sovereign bonds in the international capital markets for the construction of the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Power Plant.

Explanations

On the 2017 reform, the Ministry of Finance issued a statement explaining that it was based, essentially, on the fulfillment of milestones, such as Punta Catalina, whose construction began in 2013 and it was not until 2019 when the first unit, after more than two years of delay.

The Treasury explained that the reform was also related to resources destined to the recapitalization of the Central Bank.

“If the budget modification had not been made, the Government would have been forced to double the amount of resources to be transferred to the Central Bank during this year 2017, which would have put the fiscal accounts in a very difficult situation,” said the agency in back then.

In 2018, a complementary budget was again introduced to Congress, which contemplated an increase, with respect to the one that had already been approved, of some RD $ 7,969 million.

That year’s reform included the conclusion of a public credit operation in the local market through the bond placement and / or bank credit in the financial system for an amount greater than RD $ 7,617 million.

In 2019, the Government once again reformulated the budget to establish, among other things, a new estimate of the Central Government’s Current Revenues and modified the initially projected expenditures, which generated questions from some sectors.

Yesterday the Government introduced a bill to the Senate to modify the 2020 budget. This time the main reasons are the serious economic effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that “make a reorientation of public spending imperative.”

The project establishes that the drop in collections, estimated at some RD $ 106,936 million, plus the extraordinary non-budgeted expenses that the Government has had to make to face the crisis have created financing needs of more than RD $ 150,908 million.

The complementary budget was submitted in the morning and in the afternoon it was approved of urgency. Now it will go to the Chamber of Deputies.

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