The Second reading was to approve a motion to accept a loan from the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). The loan is for the principal amount of 5.3 million US dollars for the purpose of financing part of the Belize City House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project.
The loan would have a term of 18 years and a grace period of 4 years; repayment of the loan is to take place in 28 consecutive semi-annual installments commencing 48 months after the date of the firs advance made on the agreement. Some senators raised a few concerns including the lack of details that was presented at the reading. Senator Godwin Hulse, told us why he does not fully agree with their concerns:
Senator Godwin Hulse: “They simply had concerns and echoed those in two forms: 1. that in fact, we didn’t present more full details. I don’t fully agree because the details of a loan or where we are getting it from, the rate of interest, the repayment and the use of the loan; that is what we presented. I think they are trying. I think they are referring to a study to justify the loan. That is normally not presented to the National Assembly; that is done by the technical people and the lender who negotiate all these terms; that is why there is a Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The 2nd thing that I think that they had issues with was whether in fact this was in a way, a worthwhile vissavi, spending the money in some other area of Belize City. Well, we do think it is a worthwhile project as you can see, and from the comments I made, that in fact, Belize City is looking better, and this is not fixing it for the tourists; it’s fixing it for us. When we begin to live in a healthy environment out of London bridges and alligators and swamp and , cockroach, we will feel better about ourselves. Crime will go down, and you know, I have always said, I would love a Belize where everybody wears a suit- women are looking to continue to look beautiful and all drive Mercedes and BMWs; hopefully, we can get there!”
Despite the few concerns raised, the motion was approved by all 12 senators.