Senate gives lightning approval to budget

The national budget for 2001 was approved by the Senate yesterday within an hour of its introduction, and without debate. A single objection to a single line item was raised by Senator Ginette Bournigal (PRD-Puerto Plata Province), who complained that the Tourism Ministry had been authorized RD$50 million less than last year. The RD$65,177,000,000 budget dedicates 66%, or RD$43.034 to operational expenditures, and 34%, or RD$22.143 to capital expenditures. The break-down of expenditures is given as follows; Education (19%), Social Services (12%), Public Health (11%), General Administration (10%), Agriculture & Livestock (8%). Criminal Justice & Courts Administration (7%), Defense (6%), Transportation (6%), Various "Economic Services" (6%), National Debt (5%), Housing (3%), Water Supply & Sewers (3%), Other Social Services (2%), Irrigation (2%).