July 30, 2019 / 11:14 PM / 23 days ago

Colombia will need to raise additional $2.4 bln to finance budget plan

BOGOTA, July 30 (Reuters) - Colombia will need to raise some 8 trillion pesos ($2.4 billion) to financing the government’s proposed 2020 budget, Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said on Tuesday.

The government on Monday proposed a 271.7 trillion peso ($84 billion) budget for next year to Congress, ahead of what will likely be months of debate on the bill. The proposal would be a 9.16% increase on this year’s budget.

One of the possible funding sources for the $2.4 billion could be the sale of assets in state companies, Carrasquilla said during a Senate debate, without offering further details.

“There is the possibility of finding, like we did last year, some resources to finish completely financing the budget, those resources are approximately of 8 trillion pesos,” Carrasquilla said.

“One simply has to have different alternatives open and the permission of congress to carry them through.”

Next year the government is planning to issue local treasury bonds worth some 30 trillion pesos and external bonds worth $1.75 billion. Tax collection is expected to total 158 trillion pesos.

Latin America’s fourth-largest economy has a fiscal deficit goal of 2.1% of gross domestic product for 2020, considered key to maintaining its current credit ratings.

$1 = 3,296.85 Colombian pesos Reporting by Carlos Vargas Writing by Nelson Bocanegra and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Sandra Maler

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