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Cabinet has given approval for the Ministry of Transport and Works to sell railway lands which are not needed for the operation of the railway service.
The lands, owned by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC), have an estimated value of $445.6 million.
Addressing the weekly Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Wednesday (March 3), Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that the JRC is pursuing new business opportunities using existing resources, particularly through the sale of railway lands.
He noted that this was due to the fact that the West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO) suspended operations for 18-24 months (with effect from March 1).
Mr. Vaz explained that the provision of railway facilities and other services to WINDALCO, in particular, and the bauxite sector, in general, has been the key revenue earner at the JRC since the suspension of its main activities in 1992. However, the bauxite sector crisis has affected the JRC’s ability to function as a self financing entity.
“The proceeds from (the sale of the lands) will allow for the JRC to be self financing and not (be) a burden on Government,” the Minister said.
He noted that the Minister of Transport and Works is empowered under Section 21 of the Jamaica Railway Corporation Act to dispose of JRC properties.