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KINGSTON — The ministers of Industry, Investment and Commerce and Finance and the Public Service will be meeting with the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), and other stakeholders in the Productive Sector, to review the taxes applied to raw material and capital goods and the granting of waivers.

This was disclosed by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon Karl Samuda, on Friday (January 14), following a tour of the Wisynco manufacturing plant, White Marl, St. Catherine. He said the Prime Minister, Hon Bruce Golding, had given instructions in this regard.        

“The question of the approval of waivers has received the attention of the Government at the highest level,” Mr. Samuda told a press conference at Wisynco, following the tour.

“It was only yesterday that the Prime Minister made it clear that the Minister of Finance and myself are to meet with the JMA, and other interested stakeholders, to review the whole question of tax on raw materials and capital goods and the whole issue surrounding the waivers that they are granted,” he said.

He added that methods will be examined that will enable the Government to achieve its revenue objectives and, at the same time, make it more encouraging for the manufacturing sector, in particular, to obtain raw materials and capital goods at prices that will enable them to remain competitive.

The Government will play its part to create the type of facility that will fast track investment and not impede development, the Minister said, acknowledging that the manufacturing sector employs some 80,000 Jamaicans.

Mr. Samuda also commended Wisynco for using up-to-date technology in the plant, noting that it demonstrated its commitment to the transfer of appropriate technology to Jamaica.

Managing Director of Wisynco, William Mahfood, lauded the company’s 1,500 employees for their input, and expressed the commitment of his family and company to investing in Jamaica.                          

“We want to see continued focus on the manufacturing sector. This sector has the opportunity to give the jobs to the Jamaican people for growth,” he argued.

The tour was part of a programme of factory tours initiated by the Mr. Samuda to underscore Government’s support for the sector and encourage investments. Some of the areas toured included the beverage and foam divisions, filler area and water treatment plant.

The touring party also included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan, and other ministry officials, executives of the Wisynco Trading Group, President of the JMA, Omar Azan, and other key personnel.

By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter