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KINGSTON — The significant contribution made by public bodies to economic growth and development in Jamaica is expected to continue this financial year.

According to a Fiscal Policy Paper, which was tabled in the House of Representatives by Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, last week, the contribution of public bodies has been critical at the micro and macro economic levels over the years.

The Estimates of Expenditure for the year ending March 2012, project that 66 public bodies have a combined total assets of $834 billion  and a labour force of approximately 13,413.

With the utilisation of these resources, revenue of $347 billion is expected to be generated by the group, from which profits before tax of $28 billion will be derived, and $24 billion transferred to Government as corporate and other taxes.

Meanwhile, with the government to focus on water, roads and housing for 2011/12, it is expected that the National Water Commission (NWC), Road Maintenance Fund, National Housing Trust (NHT), and the Housing Agency of Jamaica will spend approximately $50 billion or 75 per cent of the total public bodies’ capital expenditure.

Public bodies, which are statutory organisations, authorities or government companies, constitute a significant element of the overall public sector. 

Of the 195 public bodies currently on register, 90 or 46.2 per cent are characterised as self-financing.

 

By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter