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  • Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is to meet with the relevant stakeholders, following their concerns about his announcement on the cess to be imposed on imported refined sugar.
  • Mr. Kellier said that dialogue will continue on the matter and appealed to manufacturers to cooperate, as it is not the desire of the Government to hurt any sector.
  • The Minister emphasised that whatever final decision is made, “the transformation of the sugar industry is going to take place,” as the interest of Jamaicans must be protected.

Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is to meet with the relevant stakeholders, following their concerns about his announcement on the cess to be imposed on imported refined sugar.

Speaking with reporters, on Tuesday, April 28, at the sixth staging of the two-day Make Your Mark Middle Managers’ Conference, being held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, Mr. Kellier said that dialogue will continue on the matter and appealed to manufacturers to cooperate, as it is not the desire of the Government to hurt any sector.

“It will take some time for all the loose ends to be tied up …and we are asking for cooperation from the parties involved. This is not an adversarial issue, and it is not our intention to endanger the viability of any sector,” he said.

The Minister emphasised that whatever final decision is made, “the transformation of the sugar industry is going to take place,” as the interest of Jamaicans must be protected.

“We will not allow imported refined sugar, meant for the manufacturing sector, to continue to be leaked to the retail trade, and undermine our raw sugar production and rob the Government of much needed revenue,” Mr. Kellier had emphasised in his 2015/16 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on April 21.

The Minister also pointed out that the cess is to create balance and fairness within the sector as other sugar used in the country has been similarly taxed.