Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, People & Places » BCCI Supports Petrocaribe Initiative…Opposes Petrocaribe Act
May 19, 2015

BCCI Supports Petrocaribe Initiative…Opposes Petrocaribe Act

Arturo Vasquez

he Belize Chamber of Commerce is the latest organization to come out against the PetroCaribe Loans Act which was passed in the house after a relatively short debate. While that controversial piece of legislation is described as the direct opposite of what was achieved with the passage of the Finance and Audit Reform Act in 2005, President Arturo Vasquez reiterates that the chamber is not against the PetroCaribe initiative.  Like other groups, including the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, that have taken a position on the matter, BCCI’s bone of contention is the apparent lack of transparency and accountability as it concerns the expenditure of public funds.


Arturo Vasquez, President, BCCI

“Our position on the act really is, first of all we want to make it very clear that we are not against the Petrocaribe initiative.  We’re not against that.  We’re not against development and we’re also not against low finance loans, certainly that is something that is very much in our favor.  What we are against, like everybody else, is to make sure that everything is transparent and accountable, everything falls under the mandate of the or at least under the scrutiny of the auditor general and the Public Accounts Committee.  That again, on its own is another issue because that is not active.  We were also concern about the money not going into the Consolidated Revenue Fund because once it gets in there it automatically falls under certain criteria of audit and that type of thing.  So those were the points that I think that we made clear to the prime minister that first we need to know that it forms a part of the Consolidated Revenue Funds, that it forms a part of the scrutiny of the transparency and accountability that it requires.  The spending was also an issue that we think that the spending had to be more broader.  There’s no health, there’s no education in there, it all seems to be for the benefit of, as the act reads, to provide social and community assistance to the poor and the socially marginalized.  In his press release he had said that he will extend it into payment for BEL and BTL and also something to the Super Bond.  So that, I believe, from the news I heard and read, he is prepared to put that into the act, so he’s amending a few parts of the act I think Section Three-Two and Section Three-three he’s amending.”



Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

You must be logged in to post a comment Login