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Gov’t to Submit Updated Fiscal Plan to Oversight Board

By on August 10, 2016

BY EVA LLORÉNS VÉLEZ & LUIS J. VALENTÍN

SAN JUAN—U.S. Treasury Department officials and think tanks are assisting the Puerto Rico government in the revision of the 2015 Fiscal & Economic Growth Plan (FEGP), which will be submitted to the federally established Financial Oversight & Management Board sometime in the next few months.

Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza and La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana

Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza and La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana

The FEGP calls for aggressive structural reforms to reduce government size, the deficit and public spending, as well as proposals that achieve economic growth and improve labor participation. It is aimed at tackling Puerto Rico’s $70-billion debt load and taking the island back to the market.

From the local government, sources said Fernando Oronoz, a former La Fortaleza financial adviser who was appointed deputy director of the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency & Financial Advisory Authority (FAFAA), leads the revision work. The fiscal agency’s director, Víctor Suárez, and La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana supervise on a weekly basis, one government source added.

For the past few weeks, a crew of U.S. Treasury officials has been camped in Puerto Rico providing technical assistance to FAFAA, mostly to strengthen the data and work on government revenue estimates, as the Alejandro García Padilla administration updates the FEGP, sources told Caribbean Business.

It would be the third version of the administration’s FEGP, which was first released in September 2015 and updated earlier this year.

On Monday, more than 70 agency heads and government officials convened in La Fortaleza, where Suárez, Oronoz and Santana provided a brief on the plan and requested the information they need from each one of them so they can move forward with the revision.

 

For the full story, read this week’s Caribbean Business, on sale Thursday.

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