December 20, 2018 / 1:53 AM / 6 months ago

Mexico's lower house approves revenues section of budget

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a meeting with industry bosses and members of his cabinet to discuss the new administration's policy on the minimum wage at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s lower house of Congress on Wednesday approved the revenue section of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s 2019 draft budget, sending it on to senators for their approval.

The chamber postponed the vote on Tuesday after opposition legislators objected to cuts to a wide range of areas and demanded a reduction in gasoline prices.

A measure proposed on Wednesday by the president’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) to improve tax collection and combat tax evasion boosted the total revenues by 23.77 billion pesos ($1.18 billion) to 5.83 trillion pesos.

Lopez Obrador’s budget proposal, unveiled on Saturday, was positively received by investors, who cheered his commitment to keep a lid on spending.

The budget is a major test of Lopez Obrador’s credibility after he said in late October that he would scrap a partially built $13 billion airport for Mexico City, the capital, alarming the private sector.

Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Sharay Angulo; writing by Julia Love; Editing by Leslie Adler

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