Business

Move to repeal ACB Act

The Business of Parliament

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 20, 2017



The Senate is scheduled to debate a Bill seeking to repeal the Agricultural Credit Board (ACB) Act to make new provisions relating to agricultural credit arrangements when it meets on Friday.

The Bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives on June 13, was piloted by the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, and follows the decision of the ministry to modernise the agricultural sector “to meet the demands of increased food security and agricultural productivity”.

The modernisation process involves streamlining certain functions performed by the board to promote efficiency.

The process will involve the dissolution of the ACB and the absorption of the board's monitoring and inspection functions by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

IMF CONFERENCE

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, is to stage a high-level conference on Thursday, November 16, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Entitled “Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience in the Caribbean”, the conference will focus on the unique issues the Caribbean region is facing, and the opportunities that can be found within the region to cope with the changing global landscape.

Topics will include crime and youth unemployment, fiscal policy and political cycles, and financial stability and growth trade-offs.

The conference will be a follow-up to last year's high-level conference in Trinidad and Tobago, and will bring together heads of state from the Caribbean region, central bank Governors, and other high-ranking officials from Caribbean countries - as well as the IMF's managing director, senior IMF officials, and other international financial institutions.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and private sector representatives will also be in attendance.

NMIA

Cabinet has approved the extension of the tenure of the Enterprise Team for the Privatisation of the Norman Manley International Airport, for a period of 20 months from July 2017 to March 2019. The extension is to ensure sufficient time for completion of the management of the divestment transaction process.

RAPID RESPONSE

The serviceable assets of the Rapid Response Programme (RRP) have been transferred from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development effective July 1, 2017.

AIR SERVICE AGREEMENTS

Cabinet has given approval for Jamaica to sign air service agreements with the governments of South Africa, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Republic of the Seychelles, Italy and Portugal. The agreements provide for air services between Jamaica and each of these countries. Negotiations were conducted December 5-9, 2016 at the International, Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Conference in Nassau, Bahamas.

TOURISM GREEN PAPER

Cabinet has approved a draft Tourism Networks Policy and Strategy for tabling in Parliament as a Green Paper and for use in future public consultations. The main objective of the networks policy and strategy is to improve Jamaica's global competitiveness, compliance and quality assurance in tourism. The networks envisaged are gastronomy, health and wellness, sports and entertainment, shopping and knowledge.

CDEMA INCREASE

Cabinet has approved the payment of increased annual contributions to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) of US$97.2 million for the period commencing 2016/17. CDEMA is the CARICOM body which seeks to ensure the sustainable development of resilient communities, as well as co-ordinate disaster response within the region.

TOURISM INTERNSHIP

Cabinet has approved a change of concept from creating a hotel school to the establishment of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation to provide a new type of training programme for graduates with degrees in tourism and the culinary arts. Cabinet had previously approved expansion of training in the tourism sector through the establishment of a hotel school. However, the new proposal envisages a change in the training modality to an internship programme with hands-on experience, through a mechanism of collaboration between hotel operators and tertiary educational institutions and the appropriate certification and licensing.

ERNST AND YOUNG CONTRACT

Cabinet has approved the award of a contract for US$4.8 million, inclusive of General Consumption Tax (GCT), to Ernst & Young Service Ltd for the development and implementation of the operating model for shared corporate services in the public sector for a period of one year.

TOYOTA VANS FOR NWC

Cabinet has also approved the award of a contract worth $206 million by the National Water Commission (NWC) to Toyota Jamaica Ltd, for the supply of 50 panel vans for the National Water Commission (NWC) to replace a percentage of the current fleet, which has not been replaced for an extended period.

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