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Justice Minister says praedial larceny victims' fund talks at prelim stage

Published:Monday | March 2, 2015 | 3:31 PM
Mark Golding

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding says only preliminary discussions have been had on the possible establishment of a compensation fund for victims of praedial larceny.

He was responding to a call from the Opposition on the status of discussions.

President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Senator Norman Grant, disclosed two weeks ago that he has initiated discussions on the setting up of the fund.

However, he did not disclose more details, prompting Opposition Spokesman on agriculture, J.C. Hutchinson, to issue a public call for more information.

The Justice Minister says the idea of a fund is a good one.

However, he has been quick to caution that a policy is not in the immediate future.

According to Golding, preliminary talks have focused on the use of fines levied against persons convicted of praedial larceny.

And he says other government ministries would have to be part of future talks.

The Opposition says the idea of a compensation fund is good, but it does not expect a cash-strapped government to be the main provider.

Praedial larceny is estimated to cost Jamaican farmers more than $6 billion annually.