Business representatives meet with the panel on competition

The Solís administration is in its 10th month, and a committee set up to improve the country’s competitivity has held its second meeting.

The committee met with representatives of private industry, and the topics were predictable. Business people are concerned about electrical rates, financing, transportation infrastructure, a reduction in bureaucratic paperwork and procedures as well as taxes.

President Luis Guillermo Solís attended the meeting, said Casa Presidencial.

Melvin Jiménez, minister of the Presidencia, characterized the meeting as a positive one. If the government is going well, private enterprise is going well, and if private enterprise is going well, so is the country, he said.

The session was with representatives of the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado. The organization has not always seen eye-to-eye with the president. For example, it has challenged the president’s legal right to void a veto of a new labor code that was imposed by former president Laura Chinchilla. That action is the subject of a Sala IV appeal.

Missing from a summary of the meeting provided by Casa Presidencial was any mention of new taxes.

Solís and his finance ministry are supposed to come out with a revision, of the tax code that will bring in more money for the government.

A value-added tax is being proposed in place of the existing 13 percent sales tax. Some observers say the introduction of the new taxes has been delayed because the government does not think it has the votes to pass the package.

There also have been clues that an increase in the nation’s exit tax might be proposed.

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