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National Development Council Approves 2008 Budget

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National Development Council Approves 2008 Budget

The National Development Council, headed by President Leonel Fernández, met on Thursday and approved the National Projects Budget and the General Law for Income and Public Spending for 2008.

Treasury Secretary Vicente Bengoa said the budget for the coming year will exceed 300 billion pesos, of which 264 billion are from internal income and the remaining 36 billion are from external resources.

According to a communiqué released the President’s Office of Information, Press and Publicity, the National Budget Project and the General Law for Income and Public Spending for 2008 will be presented to the National Congress next week. Bengoa said “the budget has been presented in such a way as to assure that income and spending is balanced.”  In addition, he added that an increase was earmarked for the educational sector which will receive a 10.5% increase in the coming year, equivalent to 31,471 billion pesos. The health sector will also receive a 7.1% increase. Bengoa explained that the budget approved by the National Development Council was drawn up in to meet criteria and agreements with the International Monetary Fund.

At the same time, he announced that a section of the 1.500 billion peso budget handed to President Leonel Fernández will include funds to be held in “reserve in the event of disasters.” This amount, 500 billion pesos, to be approved by the National Congress, will serve replenish the reserves that were used up during the disastrous Noel.

Bengoa said the National Congress was urgently called together this Friday to be informed of this initiative which, once approved, will be immediately put into effect to deal with the damage caused by both tropical storms Noel and Olga.

Date of Publication: December 13, 2007

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