Panama, May 22, 2001. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) fiscal year 2002 budget anticipates increases in traffic and cargo tonnage. The new budget contemplates 14,868 transits in fiscal year 2002, of which 13,143 will be oceangoing vessels, approximately 1.1 percent above the current fiscal year budget. Cargo tonnage is expected to reach 237.2 million net tons.
The fiscal year 2002 budget (October 2001-September 2002) also contemplates direct contributions to the National Treasury of Panama in the amount of $226.8 million, a $28.6 million increase over the fiscal year 2001 budget. This contribution reflects expected traffic increases and, hence, tolls revenue growth.
The Canal has $795.4 million in total revenues from operations, with $593.3 million from tolls, which represents $8.7 million more than the fiscal year 2001 projection. Additional contributions to the National Treasury are expected as follows:
- $154.2 million in payment for net tonnage, which represents 26 percent of total tolls revenue.
- $29 million for public services in Canal areas.
- $43.6 million in dividends.
Increases in oceangoing transits and cargo tonnage will result in similar revenue gains from tugboat, linehandler and reserve services. Revenue from these navigation services, added to the sale of electricity, drinking water and other minor revenues, is estimated at $189.7 million for fiscal year 2002.
The new budget was recently approved by Panama’s Cabinet Council and submitted by the ACP to the Legislative Assembly where it must undergo three debate sessions before legislative approval.