Budget approved

The Chamber of Deputies has now approved the 2009 budget for RD$329.9 billion. All is left is for President Leonel Fernandez to sign the budget into law. Hoy reports that the Chamber approved the budget without any modifications to the version originally approved by the Senate. The budget includes an addendum that replaces the US$1.9 billion four-year authorization for foreign loans with one that assigns RD$100 million to infrastructure works for each of the 32 provinces. Of the US$1.9 billion the government had requested, US$312 million have been approved for spending in 2009, as reported in Listin Diario. The funds are allocated to 24 infrastructure projects, including several hydroelectric plants, aqueducts and urban hospitals. As part of the budget INAPA will get US$10 million for the construction of an aqueduct in Higuey and US$10 million for an aqueduct in Peravia. The Nagua aqueduct will get US$5 million. The Presidency gets RD$35.4 billion, while RD$33 billion goes to Education, RD$30.7 billion for Public Heath, RD$23.6 billion for Interior and Police and RD$14.7 billion for the Hacienda Ministry.