On Sunday, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that he would withdraw a proposed tax reform as deadly protests took place and widespread opposition lawmakers.
Although he insisted that to ensure fiscal stability, a law is still necessary. Since Wednesday the protests began and despite the announcement, in some cities, it continued till Sunday. The protests caused several deaths across the country.
On Friday, Duque said that the reform would be revised to remove some of its most controversial points, including the leveling of sales tax on some food and utilities, but previously the government had insisted that the law could not be withdrawn.
In a video Duque said, “I am asking Congress to withdraw the law proposed by the finance ministry and urgently process a new law that is the fruit of consensus, in order to avoid financial uncertainty.”
According to the government the law was crucial to stabilize the finances of Colombia for funding social programs, maintaining its credit rating etc, which are necessary as per Duque.
He further said that over the last several days, political parties, business leaders, local officials and civil society have contributed valuable ideas.
On Friday, the central bank warned failure to allow the law could have a negative impact on the economy. Duque’s announcement was identified and hailed as a victory by the lawmakers, unions and other groups.
Late on Saturday, the president said that military assistance will be given to the cities at high risk due to the protests, but Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez rejected the offer.