Cabinet has established a special sub-committee to examine measures that are required to create a more enabling business environment.
This was disclosed by Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips on March 22, during his address at the Jamaica Exporters Association’s (JEA) monthly luncheon at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.
The Minister informed that among the measures being considered is the introduction of a Security Obligations Act.
Providing the rational for the proposed measure, Dr. Phillips explained that there is need to increase the flow of credit to businesses in need and the Act will, inter alia, “increase the certainty and simplicity of taking collateral for financing transactions and improve the flow of credit."
Citing the 2012 World Bank’s Doing Business report, which placed Jamaica at 88 out of a total of 183 countries, the Minister stated that the country also faces challenges as it relates to “doing business in Jamaica." The ranking is a decline from 2011, when the country was placed at 85.
The low ranking, the Minister stated, means that “we have to look at ways to create an accommodating business environment to reduce bureaucracy and to make the business environment friendlier."
He further informed that the special sub-committee of the Cabinet will also consider establishing a single development approvals centre, which will “save time in the approvals process rather than the applications having to be sent to multiple agencies for approval”.
The sub-committee, he said, will also look at introducing modern insolvency legislation to provide clear rules and procedures for handling corporate insolvencies including mechanisms for giving businesses a “no adverse action” period in which to restructure before winding up.
By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter