The Costa Rican Presidency on Tuesday introduced two new bills and supported six others meant to help the country cut costs in context of a growing financial crisis.
The new projects are as follows:
- Transparency on the Participation of Public Servants in Non-Cooperating Countries: This initiative would prevent people who occupy high positions in the public service from having accounts in non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
- Special Tax of Lottery Prizes and Other Games of Chance: This initiative would levy a 25% tax on lottery prizes that exceed half a base salary (₡225,000, or about $375).
They join the following six bills:
- File 21.499: Law of Affirmative Actions in Favor of Afro-descendant People: This initiative would create programs for Afro-Costa Ricans in educational, civic, cultural and social realms.
- File 21.180: Law of Creation of the National Agency of Digital Government: This initiative aims to develop a “digital government” that would simplify procedures for citizens and improve access to public information.
- File 21.546: General Law of Public Procurement: This initiative would reform the current administrative contracting law to ensure transparency in the processes of acquiring goods and services.
- Modifications to Law N° 8436, the 2005 Fisheries and Aquaculture Law: This would, in part, eliminate the maximum autonomy of 3 nautical miles for small-scale commercial fishing, 40 nm for the medium-scale fleet and greater than 40 nm for an advanced fleet.
- File 21.411: Authorization to the State to donate land to the University of Costa Rica in Golfito.
- File 21.371: Authorization to the Municipality of Cañas to donate land to the Public Education Ministry.
“As other bills linked to the initiatives resulting from the Multisectoral Dialogue are ready, they will be sent for the knowledge of the representatives of the sectors,” Casa Presidencial said.
President Carlos Alvarado also still intends for Costa Rica to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan to address the country’s financial difficulties.
“Costa Rica needs, yes or yes, an adjustment,” Alvarado said. “If we do nothing, the adjustment will be given by itself and will be like that of the 1980s. And it’s very painful. So, yes or yes, we need that adjustment.”
Alvarado indicated that further details about negotiations with the IMF will be announced later this month.