JIS News

State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Michael Stern, says the Ministry is in the process of establishing a single entity that will focus on the needs of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Speaking at a meeting of Board members of participating stakeholder agencies in the Government of Jamaica/Government of the Netherlands MicroFin-Jamaica Programme, held at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston, today (February 9), Mr. Stern said the formation of the single facility is part of the Government’s overall efforts to reduce the bureaucracy encountered by various stakeholders and interests seeking to access public sector services at all levels.
Lamenting that “people are going to too many places to get things done,” Mr. Stern pointed out that “we (government ministries, agencies and departments) have a mandate from Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, to root out and get rid of the bureaucratic red tapes in the system.”
“We are the business Ministry, and we have to set the example, in terms of efficiency and the way we run things. Therefore, we have taken a decision that we want to have our Ministry harmonised, here in New Kingston. So, we are going to be combining agencies so that, instead of having many windows at many locations, we have many windows at one location,” he said.
The State Minister said that this would allow for the synchronisation of database and computer systems.software that it is user friendly, so that persons “can sit at home and even access the Ministry’s facilities.”
Mr. Stern advised that the administration would be seeking to enhance efforts at reducing bureaucracy in the next financial year, and invited persons sourcing government services to indicate where challenges are encountered.
“I’m open for discussions, my door is open every day.you can walk in and you can tell me where it is, and what we can do about it. I’m prepared to work to ensure that those red tapes are removed. Many of the impediments that were set up in the government, were set up for various reasons, but a significant number do not exist today. In today’s world, we have software, we have modern ways of doing things, and we have to fall in line and be more efficient. We (government) are here to offer the best and most efficient service to our people,” Mr. Stern emphasised.
The MicroFin/Jamaica programme, which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, focuses on extending credit to Jamaica’s micro enterprise sector. The programme is currently being executed through the management consultancy firm, Development Options Limited.
Today’s meeting was aimed at facilitating discussions among stakeholders participating in the programme, and to review issues pertaining to the programme, with a view to enhancing the capacity of the micro financing organisations.

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