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Economist: Local Board Will Not be Effective, Chastises Private Sector

By on March 12, 2016

The government of Puerto Rico has violated all existing controls to prevent the debt and spending from skyrocketing. The government has even ignored controls set in the P.R. Constitution itself.

“If at a local level, we have failed in setting controls, a local board will make the same mistakes,” said Carlos Colón de Armas, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico’s (UPR) Graduate School of Planning, during his participation at a conference organized by UPR’s Business Administration Alumni Association.

“A local board will not be effective and the only serious alternative would be a federal board,” he said.

Carlos Colón de Armas; professor in Escuela Graduada de Planificación

Carlos Colón de Armas; professor in Escuela Graduada de Planificación

Colón de Armas anticipated that if the board’s objective is to decide whether there was compliance or not, the board does not have great possibilities for success. On the other hand, he highlighted that there is no precedent for a fiscal control board at the state level.

The boards in New York City and Washington, D.C., were set up in cities. “Public spending must be reduced in Puerto Rico, but public investment has to increase and I am not convinced that these fiscal control boards have the intelligence to know the difference,” said Colón de Armas, who called on the private sector not to be ccommodating with the current government.”

He added that if the private sector wants to be influential, the first thing it has to do is to set the agenda, instead of supporting the government’s agenda, defending particular interests or discussing irrelevant issues on their visits to Washington D.C., in reference to the Private Sector Coalition’s lobbying efforts there.

Colón de Armas’ comments about the private sector were echoed by fellow economist José J. Villamil, chairman of Estudios Técnicos.

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