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Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding has again affirmed his Government’s commitment to divest the State of its shares in commercial ventures, but noted that the approach will be strategic.
He was speaking to an early morning sitting of the House of Representatives on September 30, following the passing of the Supplementary Estimates by the Standing Finance Committee.
“We are committed to a principle that Government assets that are not critical to the discharge of its core functions will be divested. In the current economic circumstances, the market for divestment is soft, and this means it has to be pursued strategically…Where these assets are a burden on the budget, we must divest them to entities that can better manage them (until) when the conditions allow for them to be divested. Where they are not a burden on the budget, they represent asset values that can alleviate other burdens that we carry and therefore they too will be divested,” he said.
The Prime Minister cited assets that are the subject of public discussion. “The Air Jamaica Privatisation Team reported to Cabinet yesterday. The negotiating partner completed its due diligence on September 12 and Cabinet will shortly make a decision on the matter and advise the House. The Government-owned sugar assets in St. Thomas and Trelawny have already been privatised. The remainder is still the subject of negotiations that we hope will be concluded shortly,” Mr. Golding said.

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