Article 299: The economic regime of the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela is based on the principles of social justice, democratization,
efficiency, free competition, protection of the environment, productivity and
solidarity, with a view to ensuring overall human development and a dignified
and useful existence for the community. The
State, jointly with private initiative, shall promote the harmonious development
of the national economy, to the end of generating sources of employment, a high
rate of domestic added value, raising the standard of living of the population
and strengthen the economical sovereignty of the country, guaranteeing the
reliability of the law; the solid, dynamic, sustainable, continuing and
equitable growth of the economy to ensure a just distribution of wealth through
participatory democratic strategic planning with open consultation.
Article 300: National laws shall establish the conditions for the
creation of functionally decentralized entities to carry out social or
entrepreneurial activities, with a view to ensuring the reasonable economic and
social productivity of the public resources invested in such activities.
Article 301: The State reserves to itself the use of trade policy
to protect the economic activities of public and private Venezuelan enterprises.
Business enterprises, organs or persons of foreign nationality shall not
be granted with regimes more advantageous than those established for Venezuelan
nationals. Foreign investment is
subject to the same conditions as domestic investment.
Article 302: The State reserves to itself, through the pertinent
organic law, and for reasons of national expediency, the petroleum industry and
other industries, operations and goods and services which are in the public
interest and of a strategic nature. The
State shall promote the domestic manufacture of raw materials deriving from the
exploitation of nonrenewable natural resources, with a view to assimilating,
creating and inventing technologies, generating employment and economic growth
and creating wealth and wellbeing for the people.
Article 303: For reasons of economic and political sovereignty and
national strategy, the State shall retain all shares of Petróleos de Venezuela,
S.A. or the organ created to manage the petroleum industry, with the exception
of subsidiaries, strategic joint ventures, business enterprises and any other
venture established or coming in the future to be established as a consequence
of the carrying on of the business of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.
Article 304: All waters are property in the Nation's public
domain, essential to life and development.
The necessary provisions shall be established by law to guarantee the
protection, utilization, and recuperation thereof, respecting the phases of the
hydrological cycle and zoning criteria.
Article 305: The State shall promote sustainable agriculture as
the strategic basis for overall rural development, and consequently shall
guarantee the population a secure food supply, defined as the sufficient and
stable availability of food within the national sphere and timely and
uninterrupted access to the same for consumers.
A secure food supply must be achieved by developing and prioritizing
internal agricultural and livestock production, understood as production
deriving from the activities of agriculture, livestock, fishing and aquiculture.
Food production is in the national interest and is fundamental to the
economic and social development of the Nation.
To this end, the State shall promulgate such financial, commercial,
technological transfer, land tenancy, infrastructure, manpower training and
other measures as may be necessary to achieve strategic levels of
self-sufficiency. In addition, it
shall promote actions in the national and international economic context to
compensate for the disadvantages inherent to agricultural activity.
State shall protect the settlement and communities of nonindustrialized
fishermen, as well as their fishing banks in continental waters and those close
to the coastline, as defined by law.
Article 306: The State shall promote conditions for overall rural
development, for the purpose of generating employment and ensuring the rural
population an adequate level of well-being, as well as their inclusion in
national development. It shall likewise promote agricultural activity and
optimum land use by providing infrastructure projects, supplies, loans, training
services and technical assistance.
Article 307: The predominance of large land estates is contrary to
the interests of society. Appropriate
tax law provisions shall be enacted to tax fallow lands and establish the
necessary measures to transform them into productive economic units, likewise
recovering arable land. Farmers and
other agricultural producers are entitled to own land, in the cases and forms
specified under the pertinent law. The
State shall protect and promote associative and private forms of property in
such manner as to guarantee agricultural production.
The State shall see to the sustainable ordering of arable land to
guarantee its food-producing potential.
exceptional cases, quasi-tax contributions shall be created to provide funds for
financing, research, technical assistance, transfer of technology and other
activities that promote the productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural
sector. These matters shall be
appropriately regulated by law.
Article 308: The State shall protect and promote small and
medium-sized manufacturers, cooperatives, savings funds, family-owned
businesses, small businesses and any other form of community association for
purposes of work, savings and consumption, under an arrangement of collective
ownership, to strength the country's economic development, based on the
initiative of the people. Training,
technical assistance and appropriate financing shall be guaranteed.
Article 309: Typical Venezuelan crafts and folk industries shall
enjoy the special protection of the State, in order to preserve their
authenticity, and they shall receive credit facilities to promote production and
Article 310: Tourism is an economic activity in the national
interest, and represents a high priority in the country's strategy of
diversification and sustainable development.
As part of the foundation of the socioeconomic regime contemplated by
this Constitution, the State shall promulgate measures to guarantee the
development of tourism. The State
shall see to the creation and strengthening of a national tourist industry.
Tax and Monetary System
Article 311: Fiscal Policy shall be governed and implemented on
principles of efficiency, solvency, transparency, responsibility and fiscal
balance. Fiscal Policy is to be
balanced over a multiyear budget framework, in such manner that ordinary
revenues shall be sufficient to cover ordinary expenses.
National Executive shall submit for enactment by the National Assembly a
multiyear framework for budgeting that establishes the maximum limits of
expenditures and indebtedness to be contemplated in national budgets.
The characteristics of this framework, the requirements for modifying the
same and the terms for carrying out the same shall be established by law.
revenues generated by exploiting underground wealth and minerals, in general,
shall be used to finance real productive investment, education and health.
principles and provisions established for national economic and financial
management shall also govern that of the States and Municipalities, to the
Article 312: Public debt limits shall be set by law in accordance
with a prudent level in terms of the size of the economy, reproductive
investment and the ability to generate revenues to cover public debt service.
In order to be valid, public credit transactions shall require a special
law authorizing them, with the exceptions established under the pertinent
organic law. The special law shall
indicate the modalities of the transactions and authorize the appropriate budget
credits in the pertinent budget law.
annual special indebtedness law shall be submitted to the National Assembly
together with the budget law.
State shall not recognize any obligations other than those assumed by lawful
National Authority organs in accordance with law.
Article 313: The economic and financial management of the State
shall be governed by a budget approved annually by law.
The National Executive shall submit the draft Budget Act to the National
Assembly, at the time prescribed by the organic act. If the Executive Power
fails for any reason to submit the budget bill within the time limit established
by law, or the bill is rejected, the budget for the current fiscal year shall
remain in effect.
The National Assembly shall have the power to alter budget items, but shall not authorize measures leading to a decrease in public revenues or to expenses exceeding the estimated revenue amounts in the budget bill.
submitting the multiyear budget framework, the special indebtedness law and the
annual budget, the National Executive Branch shall explicitly state the
long-term objectives of fiscal Policy and explain how these objectives are to be
achieved, in accordance with principles of responsibility and a fiscal balance.
Article 314: No expense of any kind shall be disbursed unless the
same has been provided for in the budget law.
Additional budget credit items may be ordered to cover essential
unforeseen expenses or items that had not been adequately funded, only if the
treasury has resources to cover the expenditure concerned; this shall be done
only following a vote in favor by the Cabinet of Ministers and authorization by
the National Assembly, or in its absence, by the Delegated Committee.
Article 315: In the annual public expense budgets at all levels of
government, the specific objective to which each credit item in the budget is
addressed shall be clearly established, as well as the concrete results expected
and the public officials responsible for achieving these results.
The latter shall be established in quantitative terms, by means of
performance indicators, where this is technically possible.
The Executive Power shall submit to the National Assembly within six
months of the close of the fiscal year the annual accounting and budget
implementation balance sheet for such fiscal year.
Article 316: The taxation system shall seek a fair distribution of
public burdens in accordance with the taxpayer's ability to pay, taking into
account the principle of progressive taxation, as well as protection of the
national economy and raising the standard of living of the population, the
foundation therefore being an efficient system for the collection of taxes.
Article 317: No tax, assessment or contribution of any kind shall
be collected unless it is established by law, and no exemptions, abatements or
other types of tax incentives shall be granted except as provided for by law.
No tax shall have a confiscatory effect.
tax obligations payable in personal services shall be established.
Tax evasion may be punished as a criminal offense, without prejudice to
other penalties established by law.
case of officials they shall be punished double.
tax law shall specify the interval that is to lapse before it goes into effect.
In the absence of such provision, the period shall be understood as being
60 calendar days. This provision
shall not restrict the extraordinary powers to be granted by the National
Executive in the cases provided for by this Constitution.
national tax administration shall enjoy technical, operating and financial
autonomy in accordance with legislation approved by the National Assembly, and
its maximum authority shall be designated by the President of the Republic, in
accordance with the rules laid down in the pertinent law.
National Monetary System
Article 318: The monetary competence of National Authority shall
necessarily be exercised exclusively by the Venezuelan Central Bank.
The fundamental objective of the Venezuelan Central Bank is to achieve
price stability and preserve the internal and foreign exchange value of the
monetary unit. The monetary unit of
the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the Bolívar.
In the event a common currency is instituted within the framework of
Latin American and Caribbean integration, it shall be permissible to adopt the
currency provided for by a treaty signed by the Republic.
Venezuelan Central Bank is a public-law juridical person with autonomy to
formulate and implement policies within its sphere of competence.
The Venezuelan Central Bank shall perform
its functions in coordination with general economic policy, in the
interest of attaining the higher objectives of the State and the Nation.
order to provide for the adequate attainment of its objective, the functions of
the Venezuelan Central Bank shall include those of formulating and implementing
monetary policy, participating in the design of and implementing foreign
exchange policy, currency regulation, credit and interest rate, administrating
international reserves and any others established by law.
Article 319: The Venezuelan Central Bank shall be governed by the
principle of public responsibility, to which end it shall render an accounting
of its actions, goals and the results of its policies to the National Assembly,
in accordance with law.
It shall also issue periodic reports on the behavior of the country's macroeconomic variables and on any other matters concerning which reports may be requested, including sufficient analysis to permit its evaluation. Failure to meet the objective and goals, without justifiable cause shall result in removal of the Board of Directors and imposition of administrative penalties, in accordance with law.
Venezuelan Central Bank shall be subject to oversight after the fact by the
Office of the General Comptroller of the Republic and inspection and supervision
by the public entity that supervises banking, which shall send to the National
Assembly reports on the inspections it conducts.
The budget of operating expenses of the Venezuelan Central Bank shall
require discussion and approval by the National Assembly, and its accounts and
balance sheets shall be subjected to independent audits on such terms as may be
established by law.
Article 320: The State shall promote and defend economic
stability, prevent the vulnerability of the economy and see to monetary and
price stability, in order to ensure the welfare of society.
ministry responsible for finance and the Venezuelan Central Bank shall
contribute to the harmony between fiscal and monetary policy, thereby
facilitating the attainment of macroeconomic objectives.
In performing its functions, the Central Bank of Venezuela shall not be
subject to directives from the National Executive and shall not be permitted to
endorse or finance deficit fiscal policies.
coordinated actions of the National Executive and the Venezuelan Central Bank
shall be achieved through an annual policy agreement which shall establish the
final growth objectives and their repercussion on society, the external balance
of payments and inflation, as regards fiscal, foreign exchange and monetary
policy; as well as the levels of intermediate and instrumental variables
required in order to achieve the aforementioned final objectives.
This agreement shall be signed by the President* of the Venezuelan
Central Bank and the head of the ministry responsible for finance, and shall be
made public at the time of approval of the budget by the National Assembly. It
is the responsibility of the signers of the agreement to see that policy actions
are consistent with the objectives. The
aforementioned agreement shall specify the results expected and the policies and
actions designed to achieve the same. The
characteristics of the annual economic policy agreement and the mechanisms for
submitting an accounting shall be established by law.
Article 321: A macroeconomic stabilization fund shall be established by law for the purpose of guaranteeing the stability of the State's expenses at the national, regional and municipal levels, in the face of fluctuations in ordinary revenues. The operating rules for this fund shall observe the basic principles of efficiency, fairness and nondiscrimination as between the public organs contributing resources to the fund.