The Executive Branch, through the Ministry of Finance, submitted this Thursday to the National Congress, the draft General State Budget Law for 2024, in which total expenditures are projected to amount to DR 1,371,992.8 million, representing 18.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and revenues are estimated to reach DR 1,140,680.7 million, equivalent to 15.4% of the GDP.
In the document, delivered by the General Director of Budget, José Rijo Presbot, the amount includes the continuation and completion of important public constructions, in order to continue promoting the development of productive activities and the closing of the infrastructure gap.
It is also worth noting that the total consolidated expenditures of the National General Government (GGN) would stand at DR 1,457,253.7 million. This difference is the result of the enormous efforts to make transparent the net transfer flows that occur between different areas of the public sector. In this sense, the National General Government includes not only the amount allocated to the Central Government, but also those resources directed to Autonomous and Decentralized Non-Financial Organizations and Public Social Security Institutions.
Among the works are the Santiago Monorail, which will receive an allocation of DR 21,027.3 million; the completion of the extension of the Second Line of the Santo Domingo Metro, with DR 13,024.7 million; the reconnection of the Northwest Line with Santiago, and the construction of new roads in the Northwest Cibao, which will promote the progress of the four provinces of the region.
Also, the development of the Port of Manzanillo, which will constitute a new commercial connection route for the Dominican Republic with international markets; the strengthening of the integral intervention in the Duarte highway, as well as the road works in the Valdesia and Enriquillo regions, to improve the connectivity of Pedernales with the rest of the country.
In addition, in terms of capital expenditure for the execution of projects of high social profitability, it includes the construction and expansion of schools, with an allocation of DR 9,433.2 million; the repair and remodeling of hospitals, with DR 4,203.0 million; the construction and rehabilitation of bridges, highways and local roads, with DR 14,345.5 million; and the construction of nursery schools, aqueducts and sewage treatment plants, among others.
The budget bill contemplates an allocation of DR 99,193.0 million for subsidies, of which DR 86,393.0 million would be destined to support the operations of the electricity distribution companies (EDE), whose financial results are closely linked to the dynamics of international hydrocarbon prices.
Likewise, DR 1,600.0 million will be destined for transportation subsidies; DR 1,200.0 million for flour, and DR 10,000.0 million for fuels, resources which are intended to mitigate possible losses in the purchasing power of households, due to a domestic and international environment of inflationary risks.
“As part of the Government’s commitment to guarantee a decent standard of living for all citizens, the allocation of resources for the housing construction program for people living in poverty and multidimensional poverty is contemplated, which will cover 11 provinces in different regions”, details the communication with which the project was sent.
To continue the progress of the police reform, the PGE 2024 incorporates an allocation of DR 2,000 million, resources that seek to strengthen the technical capacities and improve the training of the national security forces, highlighting the project to modernize the educational model of the Police Institute of Higher Education, and the continuation of the construction and reconstruction of detachments in several provinces.
Likewise, the construction of the intelligent perimeter fence in the border area will continue.
For the education sector, the PGE allocates 4% of the GDP, amounting to DR 297,041.5 million, an amount which will be destined fundamentally to expand educational coverage, make the administration of the system more efficient and improve the quality of the service, as well as the conditions of students and teachers. For higher education, DR 1,085.6 million will be allocated for the extension projects of regional centers of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, impacting provinces in the north and south of the country.
In the area of health, the Program for Access to High Cost Medicines is maintained, which currently benefits some 15,000 patients, registering an unprecedented expansion in its scope in the current administration, and the ambulance supply program is included, in order to improve emergency response.
Given the revenue estimates and the budget ceilings required to accommodate the growing demand for resources needed to safeguard the purchasing power of households and in turn strengthen the pillars of growth and development, the budget proposes a fiscal deficit of DR 231,312.1 million, 3.1% of GDP, which represents a sustained reduction.
The projected fiscal result and the foreseen financial applications imply financial sources amounting to DR 344,980.21 million, equivalent to 4.65 % of the GDP, lower than that observed in previous years.