Import waiver study to be completed next year


Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has said that the study being undertaken on the country’s import waiver policy should be completed by the first quarter of 2011.
The government, earlier this year, suspended the issuing of waivers and incentives in a move to boost the economy and address the budget deficit.
Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, at the time, said that the issuing of waivers was not achieving the desired effect and it was time to revisit the policy. “The country is wrestling with a fiscal deficit of seven to eight per cent of Gross Domestic Product for this year. It will take us four years to get it down to zero,” he stated.
Addressing on Wednesday November 24 post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister Vaz explained that the study will determine “what will remain as waivers and what sectors or industries based on the current taxation format, would…not require (it), or (if) it would be just a straight lowering of a duty in a particular area.”
He informed that Cabinet also took note of a report that advised of the factors, which led to a review of the procedures for the granting of waivers and the development of an interim waiver policy and strategy.
The interim measures, which took effect on November 15, will remain in place until the study is completed and the long-term policy and strategy is finalised.
The report to Cabinet also informed that all discretionary and statutory waivers granted will be published on the website of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, with detailed information on beneficiary sectors and entities, the type and amount of each tax waived, and the description of the type of merchandise, goods or service that was subject to waiver under any tax.

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