The legislature Monday approved on first reading a proposed law that would give the Banco Central the power to penalize depositors of money from outside the country.
The measure, No. 18.685 was sought because higher interest rates in Costa Rica were attracting money from outside the country. At its discretion, the board of directors of the central bank can impose restrictions for up to six months.
Bankers claim such inflows of money put the economy out of balance. The penalty would be a stiff tax on money deposited by entities not from Costa Rica.
The measure requires one more positive vote.