The proposed Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (MSME)/ Entrepreneurship Policy, is expected to be tabled in Parliament by June.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, whose Ministry is piloting the policy’s formulation, says in light of the 2013/14 Budget Debate, slated to get underway on April 18, and continue into May, it is unlikely that there will be adequate time on the Parliament’s schedule to accommodate the matter during that period.
“We expect that we should be able to table the Green Paper by the end of May (into) early June,” he informed.
The Minister was addressing the MSME Alliance public forum on the theme: ‘MSMEs Waiting to Exhale’, at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) auditorium, Trafalgar Road, St. Andrew, on April 11.
Mr. Hylton said the policy represents a comprehensive effort by the government to “buttress” the MSME through interventions aimed at removing barriers to the sector’s growth and development, and enhancing its contribution to job creation.
He informed that the framework entails formulation of a vision for the MSME sector, an analysis of the challenges stakeholders encounter, and recommended strategies to effectively address them.
The Minister pointed out that the policy’s provisions represent the first such intervention to provide a “co-ordinated, coherent and targeted” framework of support for MSMEs.
He explained that the policy’s framework was established through extensive consultations which the Ministry had with a wide cross-section of key stakeholders, resulting in the formulation of a 14th draft, based on revisions recommended.
“I believe it is fair to say that after14 drafts, we would have captured quite a bit (of what needs to be revised). This has been a highly consulted document, as it should be, given the scale and scope of the activity we are addressing,” the Minister said.
Mr. Hylton advised that the policy will go back to Parliament’s Economic Development Committee, which is expected to meet following the Budget Debate’s conclusion, for further deliberations.
“We expect that the changes that were recommended, which have been put in place, will allow for easier passage in Parliament,” the Minister said.
By Douglas McIntosh