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May 12, 2017

How New Loans from C.D.B. Will Help Belizeans

John Briceño

Inside the House, the Government introduced amendments to the Customs and Excise Duty; General Sales Tax; and Stamp Duties Acts to give effect to concessions promised to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry; amendment to the Trade Licensing Act to regularize its structure, and a new Economic Development Council bill to cement the partnership between the public and private sector as well as the National Cultural Heritage Preservation Bill. Iin addition to the Bills sent to Committee, two motions, asked to be taken through all stages, were introduced. The first is a line of credit for the Development Finance Corporation of twenty million U.S. dollars for loans to various sectors along with a grant; the second is a loan to the Social Investment Fund. Both come from the Caribbean Development Bank. The question raised inside the House was how these funds would benefit the country. We have snapshots of the debate.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Which communities does the Government plan to spend this ten million U.S., because as I said, there is so much need, and certainly we on this side would like to know where is it that the Government plans to spend some of this money?”

 

Oscar Requeña

Oscar Requeña, Area Rep., Toledo West

“I do have a question here, a concern rather, in relation to twenty million dollars being borrowed again, Madam Speaker, and I note that [it] basically speaks to the whole issue of poverty alleviation. I represent a constituency where I still have five communities that do not have – in 2017 – do not have access to potable water and I can name them: Jalacte does not have a water system; Santa Elena does not have a water system; Crique Jute, Mafredi and Mabilha. I would think that as part of poverty alleviation and improving the living conditions of our people, that Government would see it necessary to invest some of this money in dealing with potable water.”

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“Madam Speaker, while the needs across this country are many, every representative inside this honorable House, even those on the Government side – who, they will argue, are a bit more privy to get things done – we have the same kind of concerns. I share with the member for Corozal Southeast’s concern about the road conditions; I have bad streets in Collet, too. And because if you would like to know – I think sometimes we are overlooked because we win so many times and we do so well in terms of bringing in a seat for the U.D.P. when it becomes the Government. But Madam Speaker, there are many, many needs, and that is the job of the Government: to find the best way to cover all of these needs.”

 

The motions were passed out of Committee with no alterations.

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