JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Hon. Audley Shaw, has said that the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990s financial meltdown, which led to the creation of the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC), will commence this summer.
Speaking at the Mayberry Investments Limited Forum on Thursday (April 30), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, Mr.Shaw said he hoped to state the specific date for the start of the enquiry when he closes the Budget Debate on Wednesday (May 6) in the House of Representatives.
“The Commission of Enquiry into the financial sector collapse of the 1990s will start sometime this summer, and I am hoping that next week Wednesday I can give the specific date of the start of that Commission. It must be done,” Mr. Shaw said.
He commented that it was paramount that the FINSAC enquiry be conducted, to properly comprehend the situation in moving forward. He also added that the report of a probe into the sale of assets by FINSAC was completed and would be tabled in Parliament within weeks.
FINSAC Limited was established by the Government of Jamaica in January 1997, with a mandate to restore stability to Jamaica’s financial institutions. At that time, a number of Jamaican banks and insurance companies were experiencing liquidity and solvency shortfalls and an erosion in customer confidence.
Last October, Cabinet approved the appointment of a three-man Commission to enquire into the fallout of the financial institutions, and the subsequent creation of FINSAC. Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Boyd Carey; accountant, Dale Blair; and investment manager, Charles Ross, were named to the commission.
On the issue of Government assets, Mr. Shaw said the administration was working feverishly to divest some publicly owned entities. He said that during this fiscal year, the Government hopes to conclude the privatisation of the Sugar Company of Jamaica and Air Jamaica, and sell its shares in the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and the Jamaica Public Service Company.
“Don’t fret, they are going to go. We are going to divest them,” the Minister assured his listeners.
Mr. Shaw also reiterated the Government’s decision not to tax bond holders.
“We cannot, in this very fragile environment that we are now operating in, come up with any kind of fly-by-night Nicodemous touch, in terms of changing the rules midstream, on those who have invested and expect a certain level of returns,” he said.
More than 200 people packed the hotel’s ballroom to listen to Minister Shaw.

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