Mexican government releases ambitious 2020 budget

Mexican government releases ambitious 2020 budget

Plan hinges on hopes country’s economy will grow, oil production will increase

By Sierra Juarez

QUERETARO, Mexico (AA) - The Mexican government released its plan for the country’s 2020 budget, but it relies on economic growth that many economists believe is unrealistic.

The budget revealed Sunday, focuses on social programs, increasing security and peace, and revamping the government-owned petroleum company, Pemex.

Finance Minister Arturo Herrera Gutierrez emphasized the budget was responsible and practical, at a news conference Monday.

“[The government] is presenting a realistic budget … that will keep the commitment to not increase existing taxes nor create new taxes,” said Herrera Gutierrez.

But the budget hinges on the hopes the largest economy in Latin America will grow by 2.4%. Right now, the country is struggling in a slight recession.

Despite the dip, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said the country would recover and growth will come with time.

The economic growth the budget is depending on is much higher than international economists expect for the country.

The International Monetary Fund projected that the economy will grow by no more than 1.9% in 2020.

The budget also foresees Pemex will increase oil production to 1.95 million barrels per day. In June, Pemex reported it was producing about 1.68 million barrels a day.

Because Pemex struggled for more than a decade, economists predict that hitting the 1.95 million mark will be difficult. To help Pemex reach its goal, the government will offer financial help and tax cuts to the company.

This is the first budget that AMLO has completely overseen.

The president, who is known for combating government corruption, said he would make sure budget funds are spent correctly.

The lower house has until Oct. 20 to approve the plan.

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