December 14, 2012 / 12:55 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's senate approves income part of 2013 budget

MEXICO CITY, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Mexico’s senate on Thursday approved the income section of the government’s 2013 budget plan, which foresees a slight increase in revenue next year as a global slowdown drags on Latin America’s No. 2 economy.

Senators voted 101 in favor and 16 against to pass the income bill just as it was approved by the lower house of Congress. The bill will now go to the president to be signed into law. The lower house must pass the 2013 spending bill, the other half of the budget, before the end of the year.

Lower house lawmakers passed the bill on Wednesday 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.

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.

The budget submitted by President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, which took office on Dec. 1, projects Mexico’s economy will grow 3.5 percent next year, down from an estimated 3.9 percent in 2012.

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 infrastructure spending and widen the social security safety net.

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