Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Gov't seeks more public-private partnerships

Published:Saturday | May 7, 2016 | 5:00 AM

The Government will be seeking public-private partnerships in the development of water, housing, and other critical sectors under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

Minister Without Portfolio Dr Horace Chang said the objective was to mobilise private-sector skills, technology, funds and efficiencies.

He was addressing a meeting with members of boards under the ministry at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday.

Among the boards represented were the National Water Commission (NWC), the National Works Agency, and the Housing Agency of Jamaica .

Highlighting plans for the operation of the NWC, Chang said the objective of the Government "is to get the [agency] to be able to go on the market by another 36 months".

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"This means that we will, in fact, transform the entire governance and operations of the water commission while retaining its responsibility to get water to all of Jamaica, and to do so at a cost that is affordable," he said.

As it relates to port development, he noted that the divestment of the Kingston Container Terminal, which is "well under way", would facilitate expansion and improvement of operations.

"A lot of development will evolve from that activity and the Government will have to ensure that we can manage that process," he said.

Chang also informed that a new law will be coming to regulate the real-estate sector.

"We will have one piece of legislation and one commission to govern the real estate sector. Currently, we have three boards doing the same thing (Strata Corporation, Real Estate Board, and Timeshare Board). We are going to merge all three commissions into one, so we will have one commission managing the real estate operations of the country," he outlined.