JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, on Tuesday (Nov. 20) told the House of Representatives that the government is committed to ensuring that funds from the Capital Development Fund (CDF) are put to their original purpose of restoring and redeveloping mined out communities.
“It is something that we are going to ensure becomes a much greater reality than it has been up to now,” he said. Mr. Golding gave the assurance while seeking approval for a resolution for the withdrawal of $2. 968 billion from the CDF to be paid into the Consolidated Fund, and $105 million to provide budgetary support for the Jamaica Bauxite institute for the financial year 2007/08.
The Prime Minister said that part of the problem in regards to bauxite mining companies and land restoration, is that there needs to be much stricter, more effective enforcement of the existing requirements for these companies.
“It is clear that the general policy as it applies to mining activities in these areas and how those activities impact people’s lives, constitute something that I think needs to be revisited to determine if we need to have some new policies laid down,” he stated.
The Prime Minister pointed out that over the period 2000-2007, $18.9 billion went into the Consolidated Fund, from the CDF, and that of this sum only $622 million was dedicated to the JBI, all of which was not expended solely on the redevelopment and restoration of bauxite mining communities.
Mr. Golding gave the undertaking to arrange discussions with all Members of Parliament from the island’s 17 bauxite mining constituencies, the bauxite companies, the JBI, the Ministry of Agriculture and all the relevant government agencies to see to what extent a consensus can be made on the approach that should be taken to “ensure that there is not this dissonance between what is being done by the bauxite companies, and what the peoples’ representatives are actually experiencing on the ground”.
“I look forward to sitting with the Members of Parliament, getting all the technical people involved, let us look at this again and let us see if we can set a new framework that will ensure that this critical industry continues to generate the inflows, to create the employment that it does, but that it does so in a way that does not dislocate and does not scar communities that have existed for many years, on the face of this beautiful land that God gave us,” he told the House.
The 17 constituencies that are directly affected by bauxite mining comprise four in St. Ann; two in St. Catherine; five in Clarendon; two in St. Elizabeth; and four in Manchester.

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