Government approves projects financed by mining royalties

On Monday the President Juan Manuel Santos informed the nation that "we have approved 1,826 projects, for a total COP$ 8.6bn, of which COP$ 4.5bn will be financed from the 2012 royalties system."

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febrero 19 de 2013 - 01:15 p.m.
2013-02-19

The head of state added that before the middle of the year all the 2012 royalty funds must be targeted for specific uses so that the regional leaders can concentrate on executing the projects.

Santos affirmed that the goal is to "transfer all the 2012 funds before March 31," and that "before the semester is finished, by June 30, the funds for 2012 and 2013 should be approved by the OCADS (Regional Royalty Management Decision Bodies), so we can concentrate on execution."

The President also announced that the National Planning Department will be decentralized, through the appointment of 6 new delegates to the entity, to match the number of regions.

These appointees will be recommended by mayors and departmental governors and enable a direct channel with local leaders to accelerate the implementation of projects financed by the royalties.

However, there are sectors who believe that the reform of the royalties system promoted in 2012 does exactly the opposite of its stated aim.

According to the Senator of the 'U' party Juan Lozano, what actually happened was that all the funds were centralized to the National Government, which he stressed "will give them the power to decide who to pay and who not to."

Lozano said this is the reason why he filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court challenging Article 31 of the royalty reform, which according to his interpretation gives the central Government the "power of veto" over disbursing the funds.

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