San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Millions in Funding for Southern Zone Unspent

ALTHOUGH the nation’s SouthernZone is desperate for improvements ininfrastructure and job creation, and theregion’s development association has ¢10billion ($21.46 million) to spend, theassociation’s failure to comply with legalrequirements means it will not be able touse the funds this year.The Comptroller General’s Officedid not approve this year’s budget fromthe Southern Zone RegionalDevelopment Board (JUDESUR)because of legal, constitutional and technicalproblems, the daily La Naciónreported.Last year, although JUDESUR’s budgetincluded ¢1.185 billion ($2.54 million)for loans, by December, the organizationhad only used ¢380 million($815,451) – 36% of the budgetedamount.In addition, JUDESUR has not yetrebuilt 11 stores that burned down in theDepósito Libre, a duty-free shopping zonein the southern Pacific port city ofGolfito, in April 2001, or two more thatburned in January 2003, according to thedaily.The Depósito is the source ofJUDESUR’s funds. The organizationreceives money collected through an 18%sales tax on all goods sold in the zone.

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