Congress Takes Unconstitutional Step, Amends Budget Act


Finance minister Alfredo Thorne and Cecilia Chacon, head of the Finance Commission in Congress.

On Thursday evening, the Fujimorista majority in Congress voted to repeal an article in the 2016 Budget Act, to allow regional and local governments to amend or reassign their budgets.

However, the Congress has overstepped its constitutional powers by voting on this law, according to Finance minister Alfredo Thorne.

Article 12 of the 2016 Budget Act indicates that public investment by regional governments can only be amended if authorized by the director general of the Public Budget.  The repeal, proposed by Cecilia Chacon of Fuerza Popular, would give regional governments more leeway to adjust expenditures and is, in fact, close to what the Finance Ministry has in mind for its 2017 Budget Act.

But such an amendment can only be made by the Executive.

A Finance ministry economist told La Republica daily that according to both the Constitution and its own regulations, the Congress has no legislation initiative powers on budget matters.

“It’s a complicated issue,” Thorne said to RPP Radio.  “The law and the Constitution are very clear on the responsibilities that the Executive and Legislative branches have. We think we have to review this more carefully.”



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