By Benjamin Flowers
The Government of Belize, at the last session of the House of Representatives, motioned for the approval of two loans totalling US $27 million for development projects all over the country.
The first was for a project in collaboration with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development and Rehabilitation works to be done on the Hummingbird Highway.
The loan, valued at US $12 million will finance 39 percent of the civil works component of the project.
Those road works will include: constructing embankments as well as paving and constructing eight new concrete bridges along with necessary drainage infrastructure along the road. It will also entail putting in street lighting and other protection and safety features.
The loan comes with a 20 year lifespan, a five-year grace period from the date of the loan agreement, and a 15-year repayment period. The repayment will be done in 30 semi-annual instalments which will start October 15th, 2020. The loan carries an interest rate of 2.75 percent and a one percent service charge per annum on the principal amount.
The second loan motion was for US $15 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to execute the Sustainable Development Tourism Project II. The project will see investments in the tourism sector in Corozal, Cayo, Caye Caulker and Toledo.
That loan comes with a 25-year lifespan to be paid in 39 installments of about US$384,615.38 per annum. The loan comes with a credit fee of 0.75 percent per annum.
Both loans had the approval of Cabinet and were passed by the Senate on Wednesday.