UPDATE 1-Colombian congress approves 7.3 pct increase to budget for 2014
* Budget raised in part by extending financial transaction tax
* More than half for gov't costs, one fifth to pay debt
* Finance minister says budget will cut deficit, debts (Adds planned increase in agriculture investment, paragraph 7)
BOGOTA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Colombia's congress approved a 2014 national budget 7.3 percent bigger than for this year at 203 trillion pesos ($108.10 billion) late on Wednesday, more than the government's original proposal but one it said would still reduce debt.
Congress raised the overall budget with the government's backing from an originally proposed 199.9 trillion pesos by committing to approve a separate law that would extend a tax on financial transactions into next year instead of reducing it.
The tax levies 4 pesos per every thousand in financial transactions including bank withdrawals and was expected to be halved from January before the agreement to maintain it. Congress is expected to approve the extension next week.
"It will be a responsible budget, one that cuts public debt and the fiscal deficit, which protects the economy from shocks generated by the (external) crisis and global slowdown," and helps reduce unemployment and poverty, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said.
Expenditure relating to the running of the government, civil servants' salaries and building maintenance among other items, would claim more than half the budget, or 114.2 trillion pesos while 42.5 trillion was allocated for servicing debt.
Cash to be distributed to the provinces and municipalities would total 46.7 trillion pesos.
The government expanded the budget to boost funds for its agriculture sector hobbled by poor infrastructure that makes its produce expensive by the time it reaches consumers in the domestic market. Farmers staged a strike in August to demand more investment and government planning for the sector.
The budget is based on a fiscal deficit target of 2.3 percent of GDP and on a 2014 growth forecast of 4.7 percent. The Andean nation's economy in which oil, coal mining and coffee play a big part, is expected to grow 4.5 percent this year, the government has said.
($1 = 1877.8250 Colombian pesos) (Reporting by Carlos Vargas; Additional reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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