Legislative commision OKs loan to finance expansion of highway to Limón
The Legislative Assembly’s Financial Affairs Commission on Thursday evening moved forward a bill authorizing a $465 million loan to finance the expansion of a 107-kilometer stretch of highway connecting the capital to the Caribbean province of Limón.
Nine lawmakers approved the bill after a series of obstacles including a protest by local residents who on Wednesday hurled insults at Citizen Action Party (PAC) lawmaker Manrique Oviedo, who they blame for delaying the bill. In the end, only PAC legislator Jeannette Ruiz voted against the measure.
Leading up to the commission vote, Oviedo had submitted a long list of motions against the project, claiming the loan amount was overvalued by $165 million.
Before passing the bill, the commission asked the Public Works and Transport Ministry for a second evaluation of the project by Mexican consulting firm Cal y Mayor.
Lawmakers also ordered the company granted the project, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), to hire at least 600 employees from the province of Limón. The project’s original proposal stated that all workers would come from China.
Commission members also said that if the bill passes the full Assembly, it must be approved by the Comptroller General’s Office before becoming law.
In the event of a dispute with the company or the government of China, all legal issues would be resolved under the laws of Costa Rica and not under China’s, as established by a previous draft.
The commission’s approval is only the first step for the loan package. In order for it to become a law, it must be voted on twice by the full Assembly and signed into law by the president.
You may be interested
Slothy Sunday: Saving sloths in Costa RicaThe Tico Times - February 17, 2019
Kids Saving the Rainforest is a wildlife rescue center that has rescued about 3,000 animals. The organization has planted thousands…
United States sending Costa Rica $40.7 million to fight narcotrafficking and crimeAlejandro Zúñiga - February 17, 2019
The United States is expected to send more than $40 million to Costa Rica to help the country fight narcotrafficking…
Costa Rica demands Maduro-accredited diplomats leave countryAFP and The Tico Times - February 16, 2019
The Costa Rican government demanded three Venezuelan diplomats accredited by President Nicolás Maduro leave the country within 60 calendar days,…