Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, says work is far advanced on the establishment of a framework for a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) policy.
He also announced the establishment of a PPP Secretariat in the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), while opening the 2012/13 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on May 24.
In an address entitled: ‘A New and Binding Covenant for Stability, Equitable Growth and Prosperity’, Dr. Phillips said areas being targeted for PPPs include: infrastructure projects, such as port facilities, schools, transportation, and hospitals.
He pointed out that given the “limited fiscal space” which the country currently faces, leveraging limited resources through targeted PPPs and through “judicious privatisation” of State assets, is an “important strategy” for the administration over the medium term.
The Minister explained that PPPs are a long-term performance-based approach for procuring public infrastructure, where the private sector assumes a major share of the responsibility as regards risk and financing for the delivery and performance of the infrastructure, from design and structural planning, to long-term maintenance.
He added that the value of PPPs is characterised by the engagement of private sector capital and innovation to share risks of development, while relieving the government of the financial obligation of funding the provision of urgently needed infrastructure.
“Members of the local private sector have already expressed serious interest in participating in the government’s PPP programme. We have already received attractive proposals for the funding of PPP projects in the private sector. We welcome this interest and we will be responding and pursuing these projects with some urgency,” Dr. Phillips stated.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter