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Prime Minister Bruce Golding has reiterated government’s position on the need for regulations that will facilitate economic investments and remove bureaucracy. In order to achieve this, he said the government had seen the need to create a single centre where all the regulatory powers can be brought together to be exercised as expeditiously as possible. Further, he said there has to be a shift in the onus from the potential developer to the regulator to do what has to be done within a specific 90-day time frame.
Mr. Golding was addressing this morning’s (Feb 27) Jamaica Chamber of Commerce ‘Legs and Regs’ Development Approvals Process Project forum at the Jamaica Conference Centre (JCC) in downtown Kingston. Mr. Golding said that this approach would help to provide an expressway for good projects and to ensure that they satisfy the requirements and are not held up unnecessarily by bureaucracy. ‘We want economic development and environmental sustainability. We are satisfied that the two can co-exist in a way that enhances the future growth of the country’, he told the forum.
Mr. Golding said government recognizes that there has to be rules and regulations and a determination that the development will not just take place organically on its own but has to be planned. He said that government was not prepared to take the approach where anything goes in order to attract investments but that the planning has to be handled to ensure economic benefit while enhancing the quality of life and ensuring that the public is protected.
The forum is being held under the theme ‘Towards a Better Jamaica: rethinking Land Use Planning to Maximise Economic Development, Urban Sustainability and Quality of Life for all’. The ‘Legs and Regs’ development and approval process project is a joint effort of the JCC and USAID, which has provided some US$600,000 to support the project. The objective of the project is to identify and amend or eliminate key legislation, regulations and processes that have constrained the developmental process and hindered investment.
Government officials attending the one-day forum and participating in the workshops and discussions include Dr Horace Chang, Water and Housing Minister, Speaker of the House, Mr. Delroy Chuck, the Minister of State for Transport and Works, Mr. Joseph Hibbert and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Patricia McCalla-Sinclair.