Implementation of the first phase of the privatisation of the rail service from Montego Bay to Appleton will be pursued in the new financial year.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, made the disclosure as he delivered the Throne Speech at the ceremonial opening of the 2019/20 legislative year in Gordon House on February 14.
He said that in addition to rail-related activities, the process will include relocation of squatters/informal settlers from within the rail reservation.
Turning to other areas of focus in the Transport and Mining Ministry, the Governor-General said that the Transport Authority will be amended to allow for a new system to be implemented that will address the renewal of licences on birthdays, and extended licence.
He said that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) underwent significant technological innovations to reduce losses and enhance rider experience last year, and these strategies will be intensified in the coming legislative year.
The Governor-General said that increased emphasis will be placed on bauxite and mining, which, he noted. “have provided many benefits to the Jamaican economy”.
“Even after more than 50 years of mining in Jamaica, there are still huge quantities of high-quality bauxite available. The revitalisation of the global and local industries is evidenced by the reopening and expansion of plants. We will begin upgrading the mines and geology department, so that it can respond to the needs of a dynamic and demanding industry,” he said.