Asunción, Nov 22 (EFE) .- The Paraguayan Senate approved today with modifications the General National Budget (PNG) for 2018 proposed by the Finance Committee of the Upper House, which will ultimately have to return to parliament for a definitive sanction after the changes.
The upper house decided to approve the proposal at the beginning of the morning in general form, to later deal with the amounts of each ministerial portfolio and government secretariat.
In that sense, the Senate decided to grant a salary increase of 8% to all officials of the Ministry of Public Health, which will be applied from the second half of 2018.
Health workers had requested a 12% increase for the departure budget for next year, but the senators stayed in a middle ground.
Another important note was to allocate a specific amount to the upper house for repair of the part of the Congress building that was set on fire and looted during the riots of March 31, in the context of the political conflict over the authorization of the re-election presidential.
The amount determined by the senators in this case is 20,000 million guaraníes (about 3.5 million dollars), which will be used to cover the expenses of the repair not covered by building insurance.
The Ministry of the Interior suffered a reduction of its 18 million dollar item, an amount that was going to be allocated to a system new identity cards through the Department of Identifications.
The Senate also approved an increase of 4% for public teaching that will add to the 12% established by the Executive for the next four years, which partly meets the demands of the sector, which was manifested in front of the Congress during the study of the PGN.
Throughout the day, hundreds of people from different guilds gathered before the Congress building to ask for salary improvements, while the senators debated in the interior of the building the different budgetary provisions.
Among those gathered in the central Plaza de Armas were officials from the National University of Asunción (UNA), which this week ceased their activities administrative to claim an increase in the budget heading to achieve a salary readjustment of 25%.
In the concentration also take part workers of the state National Electricity Administration (ANDE), which for weeks now requires the Ministry of Finance to adjust the Minimum Referential Salary to which the bonuses.
The 2018 budget obtained at the beginning of November half sanction in the Chamber of Deputies, which introduced substantial changes in the some portfolios increasing the amount final budget of about 62 million dollars in relation to the budget project presented by the Executive.
After the increase in the amount of the budget in Deputies, the Commission of Hacienda and Budget of the Senate determined a reduction of almost 7 million dollars.