Local November 4, 2020 | 1:52 pm

The challenges of the President of the Dominican Republic in the short term, one year ahead

Santo Domingo, DR
As a contribution, we make available nine areas in which the Government shall engage in the short term, one year, considering its main challenges.

1. EMPLOYMENT: Accelerate (break bureaucratic obstacles) public investment, especially in housing, road network (mainly rehabilitation of streets, neighborhood roads, bridges, and highways), cleaning of beaches, rehabilitation of streams, completion of hospitals in progress, community works ( schools, markets, rural clinics, and park improvements) and the start of a couple of major transport works (connecting the Alcarrizos via cable car) and metro in Santiago.

2. INVESTMENT: Specify at least three large PPP projects (Public-Private Alliance) to start next year in the energy, road, transport, ports, airports, and tourism sectors.

3. FINANCING: Continue providing financing facilities to the productive sector and loans via Guarantee Fund to micro-enterprises and small agricultural producers. This would avoid more unemployment and more non-refundable resources for direct subsidies for suspensions and layoffs.

4. FISCAL: Prepare a preliminary draft of tax reform to begin its discussion in early 2021 and approve it before mid-year. It is vital to reducing the deficit and ensuring a good reception in the bond market in 2021.

5. TOURISM: Do not let bureaucracy and conflicts of interest cloud initiatives around the development of new tourist centers such as Pedernales (Bahía de las Águilas) or Miches. They must advance with firm steps and show results in 2021.

6. FREE ZONES: Give it all the facilities for two years, including tax exemptions and the same treatment as companies in the border area, because it is a generator of jobs and first-rate foreign exchange.

7. ELECTRICITY: It is time to enact the electricity law and agree on the points still under discussion. This law will regulate the production, transmission, distribution, commercialization, and tariff regime.

8. REFORMS: There is a strong commitment from the president to reform the state. Several institutions are slated to be liquidated or merged with others, which is always a long and complex process that ends up subjugated by intersecting interests. Breaking those obstacles and showing results in 2021 is essential to improve the quality of public spending.

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