JIS News

Cabinet on December 22, gave approval for amendments to the relevant legislation, to give effect to measures designed to stimulate the economy, and to buffer the impact of the global economic crisis.
These measures were outlined by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in an address to the nation on December 14, in which he detailed a package of assistance for major sectors, such as tourism, manufacturing and small business, to stave off the worst effects of the unfolding global financial meltdown.
Other Cabinet approvals included: amendments to the Income tax (Validation and Amendment) Act 2008, for introduction to the Houses of Parliament; and procurement of vehicles for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, on December 23, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, informed that the new vehicles, which include 24 large support utility vehicles, and 50 pick-up trucks, would enable the JCF to increase its presence and responsiveness, and is in keeping with the recommendations of the recently concluded strategic review.
Cabinet also approved the sale of land at Market Street and Cave Island Pen in Trelawny, to the Port Authority of Jamaica, to facilitate the development of a cruise shipping facility. “The Cave Island Pen property is designated specifically for the relocation of the existing market at Falmouth,” Minister Grange noted.
In addition, Cabinet gave approval for the concessionary security cess of US$1 per tonne on cement imports to remain in effect until June 30, 2009.
The full Port Authority of Jamaica security cess of US$ 5 per tonne was reduced to US$1 per tonne of bagged cement for a period of six months ending March 31, 2008, by way of Cabinet decision on September 24, 2007.
Furthermore, a Cabinet decision of March 17, 2008, gave approval for the concessionary security cess to continue until December 31, 2008. “This measure was introduced in light of the shortfall in the production of cement locally by Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL), when compared with the demand for the product,” the Minister reminded.
Meanwhile, Cabinet endorsed the proposal for the establishment of a Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre.
“This proposal was submitted by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC)…it has also been submitted to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for funding, under the Multilateral Investment Fund,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Faith Innerarity, explained at the press briefing.
The proposal seeks to address the need for speedy and fair resolution of disputes between commercial entities and their clients. Among the major areas of focus are the provision of specialised professional arbitration, adjudication and mediation services, training and development in respect of arbitration and mediation, as well as the promotion and dissemination of information services to various stakeholders.
“Legislative review would also be undertaken, examining existing best practices, and model legislation in various Commonwealth countries. It is anticipated that the establishment of this centre will help to boost Jamaica’s image as being conducive for the promotion of investment, and this would assist the court,” she outlined.