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Friday, January 13, 2006 

Dominican Legislature Analyzes Budget

Santo Domingo, Jan 13 (Prensa Latina) The Dominican Parliament began an extraordinary 60-day session Friday, summoned by President Lionel Fernandez to approve the 2006 National Budget.

The tax reform was approved December 12 and the Executive Power sent the 2006 Budget Project and Expense Law to the House on the 20th, with a short turnaround time for discussion and approval.

Congress established a bilateral committee to analyze the proposal, but its chair Hugo Nunez asserted "there is no need to look for consensus."

Speaker of the House Alfredo Pacheco rejected the proposal Wednesday, demanding redefinition of percentages assigned to State powers, especially essential increasing health, education, city halls, and the Central Electoral Board.

He recalled that the House does not have the two-thirds votes necessary to modify the bill, so the Executive Power must make the changes.

Presidential technical secretary Temistocles Montas expressed confidence in the project approval during this new period, but abstained from specifying if the Executive would change it.
However, he reminded the legislators that if they delay their approval, the government will use the 2005 budget to fulfill the stand-by agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund.

Senate President Andres Bautista told the government the bill must be changed, and said it would be almost impossible to approve without modifications.

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Prensa Latina

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