- National Assembly @asambleapa
The Minister of Economy and Finance of Panama, Dulcidio de la Guardia, introduced before a committee of Parliament the bill for the budget of 2018, which amounts to 23,397.1 million dollars and is a 7.9% higher than the current budget.
According to Minister De La Guardia, of the total budgeted, $ 9,555.4 million, 40.84% is destined to the public investment program, and of the 1,721.5 million increase, 1,035.5 million will go to investments and 685.9 million to operation, said the National Assembly (AN).
"It is a budget that fulfills all the obligations of the Republic and has been made trying to contain the operating expenses," said Minister De La Guardia, according to a statement from the AN.
On July 27, Juan Carlos Varela’s Government introduced the bill for approval, which provides an economic expansion of 6%, a fiscal deficit of 0.5% and a 42.1% increase in social services expenses.
Among sectors with higher budgetary allocations, the Executive highlighted health with US $ 4,191.7 million, education and culture with US $ 2,556.6 million, and social protection and social security with US $ 2,235 million, among others.
The project forecasts net current income for $ 16.24 billion, $ 10.46 billion from taxes and capital income for $ 7.157 million.
The Panamanian Parliament approved a general budget of $ 21.675 million for 2017, $ 5 million more than initially budgeted by the Government.
Panama's economy grew by 4.9% in 2016, the lowest figure since 2009 (2.4%), while in the first half of this year it did so by 6.2%, according to official data.