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Ecuador’s Parliament to analyze the 2024 budget

Quito, Feb 26 (Prensa Latina) The Economic Regime Commission of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Ecuador will begin the analysis of the General State Budget project for 2024, which includes expenses of over 35 billion dollars.

The legislative body plans to receive this Monday morning the Minister of Economy and Finance, Juan Vega, the head of Energy and Mines, Andrea Arrobo, the national secretary of Planning Sariha Moya, and the director of the Internal Revenue Service, Damián Larco.

Although legislators do not have the power to modify the Executive’s proposal, they can make observations and suggestions.

According to the document to be discussed, the nominal Gross Domestic Product is calculated at 121 billion 710 million dollars, and average inflation at 2.1 percent, without considering the increase in the Value Added Tax.

The price of sale of a barrel of oil is estimated at 66.7 dollars, and the purchase of hydrocarbon derivatives at 94.7 dollars per barrel. In addition, the Executive considers crude oil production of 156 million barrels, an amount that takes into account the closure of the oil field located in the Yasuní National Park, as a result of the popular consultation carried out in 2023.

The Government is also foreseeing an allocation of over 3,5 million dollars for the entities that comprising the Security Cabinet, although the Ministry explained that the income planned to address the armed conflict, the social and economic crisis, is not included.

The Risk Management Secretariat, a key entity for responding to emergencies, will have a 60 percent cut in its funds in 2024 compared to last year, despite the impact of the El Niño climate phenomenon. Higher education will have a similar situation, since 28 universities will have cuts of between 800 thousand dollars and almost 20 million dollars.

The Assembly has 30 days to process the budget projection, in which the Government did not include the expected income after the increase in VAT, which will take place starting next April.