KINGSTON — Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda has emphasised that despite the Government’s commitment to review waivers in the productive sector, it would be unwise at this critical time, to deprive the sector of these facilities.
“It would be totally non-productive to deprive the manufacturing sector of any facilities that we offer now to enable them to be more competitive – modernisation of industry; and removal of taxes on raw material and heavy equipment. Without question, those are positions that we have to ensure are protected, because our main competitors are doing just that,” he declared.
The Minister was speaking at a press briefing, held at the Ministry in New Kingston, on April 6.
“We can’t put our people at a disadvantage at this time at all. It would be foolhardy,” he stressed.
Mr. Samuda said the format by which the primary objective of competitiveness is met, may vary, but the Government must continue to offer support for local producers in agriculture and manufacturing.
“That is the basis on which we are going to be able, in this very sensitive period, to hold our own. But, the objective must be to move ourselves into a position by the application of appropriate technology, to become competitive, and stand alone without them (waivers), but at this stage it would be inimical to the interest of that productive sector to do anything to alter existing arrangements,” he stated.
The Minister said methods will be examined that will enable the Government to achieve its revenue objectives and, at the same time, make it more encouraging for the manufacturing sector, in particular, to obtain raw materials and capital goods at prices that will enable them to remain competitive.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter