December 12, 2012 / 2:25 PM / in 5 years

Mexico committee approves income bill of 2013 budget

MEXICO CITY, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Mexico’s finance committee in the lower house of Congress has approved the income bill of the government’s 2013 budget proposal early Wednesday, slightly raising the estimate for the expected price of the country’s crude oil, the government said on Wednesday.

The committee’s approval, following a late night of debate on Tuesday, sets the bill up for a vote by the full lower house later on Wednesday. The income bill will then head to the senate.

The committee unanimously approved the income bill with several slight modifications, including raising 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, ra ising the contribution from state oil monopoly Pemex.

Mexico depends on income from the state oil monopoly Pemex to fund nearly one-third of the federal budget, a nd the increase in the oil estimate will give the lawmakers more funds to allocate

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, which took power on Dec. 1, submitted its 2013 income and spending plan on Friday that projects Latin America’s second biggest economy would grow 3.5 percent next year, down from an estimated 3.9 percent in 2012.

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 full lower house and senate approve the income bill, the lower house must pass the 2013 spending bill before the end of the year.

The 2013 budget proposes only a slight increase in spending over 2012 and 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.

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