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Colombia Congress approves 2024 budget of $125.9 billion

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's Congress on Wednesday approved a budget worth 502.6 trillion pesos ($125.9 billion) for 2024, representing an 18.9% increase over the 2023 budget and the highest in the country's history.

The funds will cover government operations, paying debts and social spending as proposed by leftist President Gustavo Petro. Lawmakers have until Oct. 20 to approve the budget's distribution.

The budget is aligned with the government's target of closing the fiscal deficit at 4.5% of GDP next year and growth of 1.5%, the Ministry of Finance said.

($1 = 3,993.53 Colombian pesos)

(Reporting by Carlos Vargas and Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Richard Chang)