The Minister of Finance raised some serious concerns recently. “We are indebting Costa Ricans with projects that we did not finish,” Nogui Acosta explained.
Part of the problem is that there is a huge lack of “planning culture.” There are good ideas but bad projects, ones that are not well thought out, start before having the studies, designs, funding and land needed, and end up with huge delays and fines.
The lack of pre-investment is the main cause of the issues. Another is the approval times for procedures and permits, which can take up to two years. Lack of coordination between institutions also causes delays, such as in the transfer of public services.
Acosta suggested not giving any new financing to entities who do not prove capable of executing established deadlines, to avoid having the same problems happen time and time again.
The North Interamerican Road is one of the projects that suffered the greatest delays. After nearly three years of delays, there are still 400 properties that have not been expropriated and passed into the hands of the State.
The country’s loan portfolio is $4.2 billion, divided into 25 external loans. Seven of the 25 have extension requests. The country has had to pay $35 million in fines for low execution of works and projects published with international credit.