QUITO (Dow Jones)--Ecuador spent about $2.74 billion in fuel subsidies last year, including gas for cooking, Petroecuador General Manager Marco Calvopina said Tuesday.
The government expects to spend about $3 billion in 2012 on fuel subsidies and nearly $5 billion on all subsidies. This includes the Human Development Bond, a direct subsidy for poor people, which seeks to guarantee minimum levels of consumption, among other things.
The amount spent on fuel subsidies in 2011 was equal to about 11% of the fiscal budget approved by the National Assembly.
Calvopina told reporters that of the total spent in oil subsidies last year about $1.14 billion, or 42%, went to diesel; $891 million to gasoline; and $707 million to cooking gas.
President Rafael Correa has said several times that most of the current fuel subsidies are received by high-income earners, and it is necessary to refocus the subsidies to give more to the poor.