* New president's budget estimates 3.5 pct growth in 2013
* Lawmakers pass zero percent deficit, excluding Pemex debt
* Budgeted price of Mexican crude increased to $86 per
MEXICO CITY, Dec 12 Mexico's lower house of
Congress approved the income section of the government's 2013
budget proposal on Wednesday, which plans for a slight increase
in revenue next year as a global slowdown drags on Latin
America's No. 2 economy.
Lawmakers voted 417 in favor and 33 against to pass the
income bill with only minor modifications, including a higher
estimated price for the country's crude oil exports next year,
which bumps up expected revenue from the state oil firm.
The bill now heads to the senate.
President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration, which took
office on Dec. 1, had submitted its 2013 income and spending
plan on Friday. The budget projects Mexico's economy would grow
3.5 percent next year, down from an estimated 3.9 percent in
Lawmakers raised the estimated price for Mexico's crude mix
in 2013 to $86 per barrel compared to the government's proposal
of $84.90, the lower house said in a statement.
Mexico depends on income from the state oil monopoly Pemex
to fund nearly one-third of the federal budget, and the increase
in the oil price gives lawmakers more funds to allocate.
Lawmakers raised projected income next year to 3.956
trillion Mexican pesos ($310.17 billion) from the government's
proposal of 3.931 trillion pesos, the statement said.
Once the Senate approves the income bill, the lower house
must pass the 2013 spending bill before the end of the year.
Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Monday that
lawmakers will need to approve a tax reform bill next year in
order to fund Pena Nieto's plans to boost the economy.
Upon taking office, Pena Nieto brokered a deal with major
opposition parties to jointly back a series of proposals that
includes more infrastructure spending and an overhaul of
Mexico's social security safety net.