QUITO, Ecuador (AFX) - Ecuador's new leftist government will not sign an agreement allowing the International Monetary Fund to monitor the country's economic plan, the economy minister said Thursday.
"I have no intention ... of accepting what some governments in the past have accepted: that (the IMF) tell us what to do on economic policy," Economy Minister Ricardo Patino told Channel 4 television. "That seems unacceptable to us."
Patino also praised Venezuela -- where President Hugo Chavez is a key ally of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa -- for offering the Andean nation credits of up to $1 billion.
In its budget proposal presented Wednesday, Ecuador's new government set aside $2.7 billion -- 28 percent of the $9.8 billion budget -- for foreign debt payments, more than $1 billion less than in 2006.
Correa took office in January promising to take steps to renegotiate the country's $16.8 billion foreign debt and direct resources to programs to help the poor.
Investors are waiting to see if the country makes its programmed payment on Global Bonds 2030, due Feb. 15.
"We'll decide whether or not to pay these obligations based on fiscal necessities because our commitment is going to be to pay salaries on time, allot resources to education and health," Correa said Wednesday.