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Posts Tagged ‘government of belize’

The Ministry of Health has received a grant of over a million dollars to assist with H1N1 support programs. According to a government press release, the World Bank grant will be used to support the training of workers at various ports of entry and to improve surveillance countrywide. Public education efforts and the provision of essential laboratory and protective supplies for healthcare workers will also be covered by the World Bank funding. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture is also the beneficiary of external funding for local assistance projects. As part of the Central American Council for Agriculture, Belize will get just over a million dollars to under a project entitled: Reinforcement of seed production for grains in support of rural agriculture for Food Security. The project is part of a larger Food and Agriculture initiative over the next four years that will assist member countries in this region to strengthen their food security initiatives. The overall project is costing eleven point nine millions U.S. dollars, with support from the Government of Spain.

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boledo vendor

Most Belizeans may only know “Brad’s” as the popular hangout spot for City-based UDP Ministers, but tonight Brad’s represents a major thread in the fabric of Belizean life. That’s because tonight its official, Brad’s will privately operate the National Boledo franchise. Well actually that’s now “Brads Gaming Company Ltd.” – which was picked by a Tender Selection Panel that found them to be, as described in a government press release, “best equipped to administer the lotteries programmes on behalf of the Government.”

Here’s how it will work. Government will continue to own the lottery, but Brad’s will administer it. They will pay government a flat fee to operate it, and Government will also receive a commission, business tax and an agency tax.

Now, a principal feature of the plan is that no boledo vendor is to be left out, that means that if it goes as it should you should still be able to buy your nightly boledo as per normal. Brad’s will be in charge of the ticketing and the drawing. But, according to our sources, Government’s Lotteries Commission will still oversee operation on a day to day basis and the government-appointed Lotteries Supervisor will still oversee the draw.

But why privatize? Well, it’s about the money. According to Government, presently it only collects just under a million dollars in revenue annually, and with the privatization, the license fee alone will earn government two million dollars. Now, it’s not going to take effect until April of next year, so don’t panic about tonight’s draw. Brad’s told us today that he would be having a public education campaign before the changeover and didn’t want to comment at this time.

The plan is that within a year of taking over the Boledo would be made into an electronically managed game, similar to the Lotto. That means the draw would be modernized and the ticketing automated. And the “PUP” and “Brata” or “free numba”? Well, we expect that those fixtures will find a way to circumvent all regulations and endure in spite of modernization.

 And if you’re wary about who’s going to be controlling those balls of destiny, the decision to pick Brad’s was not made by any of his regular Cabinet patrons, the Tender Selection Panel was chaired by Auditor General Edmund Zuniga with membership of Senator Godwin Hulse, a representative of the Ministry of Finance and three members from the Lotteries Committee and Gaming Control Board.

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