KINGSTON — Finance Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has commended the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) for its commitment to preserving the integrity of the country's industry and commerce sectors over the years.
Speaking at the JCC's recent luncheon forum at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Mr. Shaw recounted the organisation's activities dating back to the early 1980s. At that time, he said, he was a new entrant to the civil service, occupying the position of head of marketing and investment promotions at the then Jamaica National Investment Promotions Limited.
"At that time, we had a very vibrant JCC. It is really a source of inspiration that the Chamber has been such a consistent force in helping to preserve the intentions of commerce and industry in our country over the years. As a lobby group, you have been very effective; I have personal knowledge of that and I want to commend you, and to ask that you continue the very good work," Minister Shaw said.
JCC President, Milton Samuda, in his response, expressed appreciation for the Minister's kind comments.
He said that the JCC was pleased that the issue of the outstanding salary increase and retroactive payments due to civil servants had been settled, noting that the recent signing of the Heads of Agreement between Government and unions was a "signal achievement".
"Also… we welcome… the elevation of your former junior Minister (for Finance and the Public Service), the Hon. Arthur Williams (to Minister with responsibility for the Public Service in the Office of the Prime Minister). We think that, both in terms of the hard work he did and the tone (with) which he (presided over the negotiations), made for the environment in which those agreements could be reached," Mr. Samuda stated.
He further paid tribute to Commissioner General, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Viralee Latibeaudiere, for her leadership in the re-organisation of the domestic tax structure in which the Chamber was instrumental in undertaking research and study work, leading to the new regime being instituted.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter