Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2023. 1:21 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belize Port Authority (BPA) is now reporting that it has discovered that Portico Enterprises Limited, the developers of the planned Port of Magical Belize near the Sibun River, have failed to apply for, never mind being granted, a license for the construction and operation of the port as required by law.
The Port Authority’s press release today referred to Section 21 of the Belize Port Authority Act which states, “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Minister may, after consultation with the Authority, grant in writing a license to any person, corporation or other body to construct and operate a private port subject to such terms, conditions, and restrictions and on the payment of such fees as the Minister may consider appropriate.”
As the Authority is designated responsible to determine which facility shall be a port facility in compliance with the Act and associated regulations, it says it must be meaningfully consulted, which it says was not done in the case of the so-called “Definitive Agreement” for Portico Enterprises now in circulation, signed by former Government Minister Erwin Contreras and now set aside pending revision and legal advice.
Neither the Authority nor the Ministry of Public Utilities and Logistics, led by Michel Chebat, say they were consulted in relation to the Agreement, or proposed legislation giving legal effect to the terms of such agreement.
The project is now apparently in limbo as charges continue to mount against its going ahead.
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