Mérida, May 23rd 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – During his weekly show Sunday, President Hugo Chavez announced an additional 3 billion bolivars (US$ 607 million) to be assigned to state governments.
The Bs 3,037,285,000 is 20% of money collected through the tax system, and will be freed up from the national treasury and distributed to all states.
Chavez said he made the decision to transfer the money based on advice by Vice-president Elias Jaua, and based on the stable economic situation Venezuela now finds itself in.
He added that it was important that the people know the precise amounts approved for each state, in order to counter “false accusations” by opposition leaders who say their states aren’t receiving any resources.
“There are [opposition] governors who say that the government doesn’t give them resources, that Chavez takes their resources, that’s absolutely false,” he said.
Towards this end, the government released detailed figures of the distribution of money in each state.
States with opposition governors, such as Miranda, Zulia, and Carabobo, will receive some of the highest amounts, though they are also states with larger populations.
Jaua stressed, “These resources are additional to the budget that the regional governments received, this extra amount increases the amount budgeted for 2011 by 10%”.
Chavez announced the funding allocation on his weekly show Alo Presidente, along with other funding, including US$ 863.9 million to purchase medical equipment and supplies.
He explained that the money came from a loan from China, and the supplies will be bought and distributed to Venezuelan hospitals around the country in three stages; surgical supplies, medicine, and dentistry machinery and supplies. The government hopes to complete the distribution by July.
Finally, the president also designated Bs 153 million (US$ 35 million) for the Mission Mothers of the Barrio, which should benefit 98,330 women. The mission, launched in 2006, aims to assist single mothers living in poverty, as well as lower drug use and combat unwanted teen pregnancies. It also recognises the economic contribution made by homemakers. Single mothers may receive 80% of the minimum wage.
Chavez said the payment is “transitionary”, and is to help recipients while they receive training in a “productive area”.