JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday afternoon intervened in the continuing crisis in the local cement industry with a view to bringing to an end the supply problems being experienced by the construction and hardware sectors.
Following the announcement of the decision to remove the CET of 15% from imports over the next three (3) months, the Prime Minister announced an extension of the duty free regime to one (1) year. She said this would clear the way for potential importers to plan import programmes over a longer period, thereby eliminating the challenges being faced by them in sourcing a stable supply to meet the shortfall in the local market. She said that she expects that the full benefits of the duty waiver will be passed on to the consumer.
The Prime Minister said this was the final request of the importers and with all the hurdles now cleared, it is now hoped that they would perform. She said, despite the global shortage of cement she expected that the planned imports by the private sector as well as supplies negotiated by the Government would bring about a solution to the crisis in the shortest possible time.
The Prime Minister said she was fully aware of the hardship being caused by the present situation, particularly to construction workers and hardware merchants. The new import regime represented a major concession by government which could quickly bring about a satisfactorily solution to the benefit of all the partners in the construction sector.