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Mar 28, 2013

Senator Mark Lizarraga concerned about BIL, government’s private company

Mark Lizarraga

Belize Infrastructure Limited is government’s special purpose vehicle and everybody’s talking about it…except government, that is. While the details are few, we do know that BIL will be in charge of sixty million dollars which will be used for projects including the Belize City Center. We also know that the Chairman and Director of this public/private hybrid is the Minister of Works Rene Montero, and his co-chair is Minister with responsibility for sports Herman Longsworth. And we do know that there are special provisions which allow for the directors of BIL to receive unspecified remuneration, salaries, allowances and other perks. All in all it’s a worrisome proposition and the unions, Opposition and Chamber of Commerce have all expressed grave concern with BIL…its formation and its real purpose. Today Senator Mark Lizarraga, who represents the private sector in the Senate, weighed in on BIL.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Private Sector

“Why do we need a vehicle to do what the private sector can do? I understand them to say that the private sector will be doing the jobs; that they will be procuring services from the private sector. Government has been doing this for years—projects, etc. So why do we need now. I don’t think we’ve heard an explanation that we really buy; I don’t think anyone is really understanding. Interestingly enough, I did hear Senator Shoman last night on a news clip saying that it is her understanding that this pressure may have come from an international financial institution. Well it would be interesting to find out why they would be proposing such a vehicle. We are very cautious about this type of structure because we think that any monies that government spends on behalf of the people; and especially monies that are going to be repaid from taxpayers; that these monies should be open to full public scrutiny. And I am not sure if that would be possible in this vehicle.”

 

Lizarraga, in his capacity as senatorial representative of the private sector, spoke on other topics, including the budget, the public service and corruption. We’ll have those comments when we come back from the Easter break.

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2 Responses for “Senator Mark Lizarraga concerned about BIL, government’s private company”

  1. Bear says:

    Where was this $60-million in any budget?

    It didn’t appear by magic, we have a running deficit, so it was misappropriated from some account.

    Most outrageous, it allows GOB to claim it has no revenues to fulfill its promise to raise teacher salaries.

    This should be the last straw for corrupt practices in GOB. I hope Sen. Lizarraga and the Chamber and others stay on this issue until the truth is splashed all over the nation. Then I hope the guilty will pay.

  2. Gone fishing says:

    BILK is more of the same.
    it will become the retirement and patronage program, when they get voted out or recalled.
    And they complain that the Belize Bar Association is rigged PUP.

    Step right up and get some Jim Jones cool aid.

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