Business

EPOC says private sector concerns on GCT changes addressed

Thursday, August 21, 2014    

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THE country's Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) says it is now satisfied that concerns raised by members of the private sector over amendments to the GCT Act were considered by the relevant parliamentary committee.

In its monthly communiqué, EPOC said there were issues in the amendments to the GCT Act that were objected to by the private sector.

The Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) had expressed concern that certain amendments to the legislation would affect the local manufacturing sector.

However, EPOC said that after consultations with representatives of the private sector, it was assured that "the concerns were taken into account in a manner that sought to best achieve enhanced efficiency in revenue collection, without hindering the growth of the private sector".

EPOC said it hoped that the final bill to be passed by the House of Representatives will reflect the suggestions made by members of the private sector.

The amendments to the GCT Act are being carried out as a condition of the Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It aims to achieve a broadening of the tax base and improvement in the administration of the tax.

As part of the reform, zero rating for government purchases was eliminated on June 1. The amendments will also facilitate, among other things, the elimination of the exempt status of electricity for independent private power producers.

The bill to amend the GCT Act was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by House Leader Phillip Paulwell, on behalf of Minister of Finance and Planning Peter Phillips.

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