On Tuesday, the plenary of Venezuela’s National Assembly approved in its first round of discussions the Draft Law on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which sets spending for the year at $87.9 billion based on estimated oil prices of $60 per barrel and a rate of inflation of 26 to 28%.
The draft law was presented by the president of the Committee on Finance and Economic Development, Deputy Ricardo Sanguino. It projects continued economic expansion for Venezuela with 4% GDP growth, calculates an exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar, and is 39% larger than the budget for the previous year.
Sanguino said that the draft law is directly tied to the 2013-2019 National Plan for Bolivarian Socialist Management, the Annual Operative Plan and respective Institutional Operative Plans for the 2014 fiscal year.
The budget for next year corresponds to a strong and renewed commitment to national independence, the lawmaker indicated, stressing the need to preserve recent political, economic, social and cultural gains. He also pointed out the need to deploy efforts to consolidate and advance in building and refining of Bolivarian and Chavista socialism.
The portion of the national budget dedicated to social investment in areas like health, education, housing and nutrition has grown over the last decade from 39% in 2003 to 48.8% in 2013.
In this context, the social program known as “Mission Food” has helped 17.5 million people through its networks of subsidized supermarkets (Mercal, Pdval, and Abastos Bicentenarios).
Meanwhile, “Children of Venezuela” has helped 736,540 citizens, and the Great Housing Mission established in 2011 has already given out more than 500,000 homes to families. The number of elderly citizens receiving pensions went from 626,795 in 2003 to 2.5 million in 2013.
Venezuela has experienced 53 consecutive quarters of economic growth, and projections indicate that more growth will occur in 2014.
AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the US / November 6, 2013