(Adds Finance Minister’s comments, background details)
SANTIAGO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Chile’s government will consider issuing debt for the equivalent of up to $10.5 billion on local and international markets next year, according to a copy of the 2017 fiscal budget bill seen by Reuters on Friday.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said on Thursday night the country’s budgeted spending would rise 2.7 percent in 2017 compared with this year, the lowest rate of growth in 14 years, as a sluggish economy has crimped income.
Next year’s budget, which underscores the government’s commitment to reduce the structural deficit by a quarter of a percentage point of gross domestic demand per year, will amount to over $60 billion.
“It is a prudent budget that focuses on citizen’s priorities, supports economic growth and allows us to move forward on the government’s commitments,” said Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes.
Bachelet began her term in 2014, pledging to address inequality with wide-ranging reforms to taxes, education, the constitution and more.
But her plans have been partly thwarted by weak economic growth, a slide in the price of copper, subdued investment, poor legislative planning and opposition to elements of her reforms from both the right and left. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito & Felipe Iturrieta; Editing by Diane Craft and Sandra Maler)