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San Josť, Costa Rica       Thursday Edition,  February 22, 2018         Vol. 18, No. 222
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Government rushes the creation of a
national council on competitiveness

By A.M Costa Rica staff

Two and a half months before the end of the current administration, the executive branch is in charge of approving a bill that would allow the creation of a national competition council, even though the Comptroller General of the Republic opposes the initiative.

Legislative bill No.19.996, which in its fifth draft, seeks the creation of the council which would be exclusively responsible for the functions, powers, and competencies of the promotion of competition and effective consumer protection, all this independent from the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Commerce.

The legislators of the Government and Administration Commission of the Legislative Assembly, remain critical of the issue because they said they consider that the initiative contains points that must be reformulated before it is approved.

No.19.996 entered the Legislative Assembly as a bill which sought to convert the competition commission to an administrative court of competition to give it legal and instrumental personality with its own budget.

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Geannina Dinarte said the initiative was born because the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development told Costa Rica that, although at the time it was the leader in generating a law of competition, the country lagged because its competition authority is weak.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       
Some legislators consider there is not enough time to reach a consensus before the new government takes office.

"It is an authority that lacks technical, political and budgetary independence, which is traditionally held by the competition authorities in the world. This autonomy is needed so that the political criterion is never imposed," explained Dinarte.

Monday Minister Dinarte met with the government and administration committee to discuss each article and reach a consensus so that its approval could be achieved. Nevertheless, the deputies see its approval difficult, since they said they see little time to reach an agreement.


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