Business

Roadworks are main route to economic growth

The Business of Parliament

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

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MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION

For 2018/19, $16.2 billion or approximately 81 per cent of the $20.6 billion allocated to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is earmarked for the works-related projects aimed at developing and improving the country's infrastructure, according to the government's Fiscal Policy Paper.

Some 95 per cent of the allocation under the ministry's works portfolio is attributed to two major road works projects — the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) and the commencement of civil works under the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project.

The remaining five per cent or approximately $759 million is to facilitate works in relation to the completion of two construction projects — the construction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade head office in downtown Kingston, and the continuation of the Road Rehabilitation Project II.

Highlights of the contributions to economic development expected from public bodies:

NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST (NHT)

The NHT will continue to pursue increased delivery of housing solutions in the medium term. The entity is employing several new strategies aimed at making housing solutions more affordable and accessible.

Accordingly, 16,356 solutions (housing and residential lots) should be completed by financial year 2020/21, of which approximately 4,734 are scheduled to be completed in 2019/20.

The NHT has forecast expenditure of $31.6 billion for financial year 2018/19, inclusive of $7.6 billion for projects to be undertaken directly by the trust.

NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION (NWC)

The NWC will continue the implementation of selected strategic and capital projects that are expected to reduce the level of non-revenue water (NRW), achieve energy and other efficiency targets, contain operating costs and enhance revenues.

NWC's public investments are projected at $4.4 billion and include financing for the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) Water Supply Improvement Project, as well as rehabilitation works under the K-factor programme.

PETROJAM LIMITED

Petrojam plans to undertake activities during 2018/19 aimed at enhancing its refinery capabilities, whilst improving marketability and containing costs.

Notably, Petrojam will commence the construction of a Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU), which is Phase I of the refinery's upgrading programme that will facilitate the production of asphalt.

PAJ's development projects are strategically aligned to the Government's growth and employment agenda.

The PAJ's development activities will include the Montego Bay cruise ship and cargo development, as well as the acquisition of the Sea Walk Floating Pier for use at Port Royal.

The PAJ will significantly focus on completing business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities in Portmore and Montego Bay as part of its efforts to develop and expand Jamaica's outsourcing industry.

The Montego Bay facility has been completed and the Portmore facility is scheduled to be completed in 2018/19. Development projects are expected to account for over 80 per cent of planned capital expenditure of $5.6 billion.

AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF JAMAICA (AAJ)

AAJ will continue to undertake activities toward implementing the 20-year Capital Development Programme at the Norman Manley Internatiinal Airport (NMIA)) at a cost of $2.6 billion.

This should account for approximately 72 per cent of the budgeted capital expenditure of $3.7 billion.

Works will also continue in respect of other approved projects, including the NMIA shoreline protection and preliminary works for the Vernamfield Development Project.

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