On Friday morning, a few hours after That morning in Congress the final text of the Development Plan was leftthe director of National Planning, Jorge Iván González, held this talk with EL TIEMPO.
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As director of the DNP, González directed the collective elaboration of this document that will now be law, through which the goals set for the period of government were affirmed, and the paths to reach them.
What is the importance of the fact that Congress has given its blessing to the National Development Plan?
The great satisfaction that remains for me is that the broad lines that we proposed were accepted in all instances. The structural changes that are being proposed in the Development Plan require a commitment from future governments.
Could you remember what those axes of the plan are?
The first point is the ‘Territorial planning around water’to once again give importance to geography, to the interactions between the countryside and the city, the issue of sustainability of these large agglomerations, the problem of illegal mining, drug trafficking, coca or deforestation.
The second we call ‘Human security and social justice’. It is a chapter that has a central idea, how do we create the conditions so that each person can carry out the type of life that he considers valuable?
The third is the human right to food, where we look at all aspects of the transformation and modernization of the field. This includes the multipurpose cadastre, property transformation, rural reform, aspects related to industry, with production and productivity in the field.
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The fourth is energy transition. In this we include aspects related to employment, progressively reducing dependence on oil or conventional minerals.
We call the last oneSocial and regional convergence’. That the living conditions of all homes can be similar, that we do not have gaps in the quality of life.
Are the Government and you particularly calm that monkeys did not sneak in?
In the Congress you can find an atmosphere of dialogue. We improved some articles substantially thanks to the support of Congress.
We reject many proposals. Last week using 5,270 and most of them we reject for technical, legal or tax reasons. For example: one that spoke of the 2021 census, in that year there was no census. Others legally do not make much sense or repeat rules that already exist. Others that clearly have constitutional defects. We take great care that those that are presented will not be accepted if they have fiscal impacts.
You believe more in a development plan, hopefully with short strategic lines. Did they manage to enter ‘projects’?
At the beginning I said: «I want a Development Plan of maximum 150 or 180 pages». I ended up delivering a base of 260. We reached the commissions with 200 articles and we are going to end up with around 270. The last Development Plan had 1,700 projects. We lower it to 800 indicative projects. The commitment we made was: we include it in the Multiannual Investment Plan if it is endorsed by the respective ministry.
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The next step is that with this list, we have to carry out an exercise in the definition of the investments, in such a way that projects that seem dispersed can be articulated at the moment of defining the investment and beginning to execute the resources to the Territorial Pacts. . We made a lot of progress in not presenting the investment planes by department. A highway Pasto – Popayán is of all the country. It is not a departmental project, it is a national project.
Opposition parliamentarians say that the specter of express expropriation was included. Do the Government and you as director of Planning guarantee that there will be no expropriation?
This debate was central. Article 55 of the paper was discussed in the Senate and clearly states the voluntary sale that is paid at a commercial price. If the person does not want to sell, he does not sell. This streamlines the administrative part, but preserves the legal guarantees. When it arrived at the Chamber, the congressmen asked that it be read. That article was not reconciled because it was thrown out by the Senate and the House. He did not enter by force, nor from behind. She discussed calmly. There was a rumor that the Government came with a proposal for express expropriation. He never formally reached Planning or the Treasury.
There is concern about the possible increase in taxes on unproductive land. Could this lead to those who refuse to sell eventually having to get off the land the government is interested in?
Whenever there was concern about the Rural Reform in Colombia, there was talk of adequate exploitation of the land. Obviously the legal procedures are respected to discuss what is a well-exploited land. Here there is a decision by the government to move towards comprehensive rural reform, accepting the first point of the Havana agreement. I hope that this can be done in an orderly, calm and voluntary way.. The ideal would be to reach a definition of rural land uses, in such a way that a land that is for agriculture, if you have it dedicated to cattle raising, can have a high property penalty, because the use of the land does not correspond to the vocation of this. It is an ideal of modernity of agriculture.
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Regarding the minimum amounts for direct contracting, a regulation will come from Planning. What should it have to allay fears about corruption?
It is good to clarify that for common shares there is already less quantity; more or less 1,000 million pesos. What is introduced is the possibility that a group of peasants, a small community organization, can contract, respecting clear rules of transparency, efficiency and that we can have contracts. There was a discussion between minimum and lesser amount. Finally, the minimum will be produced, which is about 300 million pesos in issues such as maintenance of local roads. The Ministry of Transportation with an engineering team determines the characteristics and the community participates in the direct construction processes of the footprint plate, with all the technical supervision in contracts. From Planning we were calm by the way in which those articles were drafted.
How to prevent politicians from approving this article to do politics and yet the works that the regions need?
I believe that it is possible to make a conjunction of politics and efficiency in the works. We agree to avoid corruption, that the minimum technical criteria are respected. I don’t see any problem with the politician taking a photo next to a work that was well done.
Apparently the down payment for healthcare reform is in the plan. How was the role of the Directorate in the plan?
There was a moment in the Senate that was very disturbing, in the sense that the issue of the direct turn was brought up again. We had already approved a direct transfer without invoicing. The EPS invoice and Address turns. That was in Duque’s plan and we kept it, but the discussion of whether the address can invoice appears again. Since the debate began, several health texts appeared, articles were removed and one of the ones that remained was the direct twist. The Senate did not discuss this issue, because it will be discussed in the health reform.
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Why is the term ‘underground’ dropped from the article that allows the Nation to finance railway projects for mass transportation systems above 70 percent?
A land that is for agriculture, if you have it dedicated to livestock, can have a high property penalty.
It is not intended to be an article only for Bogotá. What was finally said was: let’s open this possibility so that the co-financing of the Nation can be more than 70 percent, in such a way that several medium and large municipalities with mass transportation can also use this possibility. No subway alone. This article was accompanied by a discussion of the co-financing of the operation, because at this time the country has been reluctant to finance the operation..
We are already accepting that the user fee is not enough to finance the operation of mass transport, that the technical fee is always above the user fee and that this gap is generating a deficit. Then the possibility was extended for the Nation to also co-finance the operation, but forcing municipalities to use the fiscal instruments provided by law 8897 to improve their own income.
How was the balance of the powers that were requested for the President in the end?
There were very few left. The determination of the amounts for programs such as Familias en Acción remained, in such a way that it could be incorporated into the transfer system and see how it articulates with Renta Ciudadana. The theme of the San Juan de Dios hospital: give extraordinary powers to the president to renew it and make the negotiation with the District, it can be free of charge or onerous. There was another one that authorizes the Government to see how this issue of Neighborhood Roads is thought. There is another that was that of the Bicentenario holding, which was a proposal by Minister Ocampo. The holding company was created by Minister Carrasquilla and the state financial entities are there. What the Ministry of Finance wanted is to see how these entities can be articulated and how their potential can be used.
What is denied to the president? The first is the creation of the Cybernetic and Satellite Security Agency. One also refused The creation of the National Forestry Agency was very important for this government.. The balance from the point of view of extraordinary powers is moderate.
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The approval of the plan demonstrates that political dialogue can move projects forward. Do you think that in the health reform there are still spaces for consensus?
I had never been in Congress for three months and, I say it publicly, I thank Congress for the judicious way in which it is discussed. In Congress you can find an atmosphere of dialogue, discussion, debate. I think we improved some of the articles substantially because of the support of Congress.
Central Table Editor