Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Shaw's envy - Former finance minister opens major debates in current parliamentary year

Published:Tuesday | April 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
Audley Shaw

Audley Shaw will today establish a first in Jamaica's modern parliamentary system, being the only former finance minister to open both the Budget Debate and the Sectoral Debate in the same legislative year.

In March, a spirited Shaw presented a Budget with no new taxes, receiving accolades from some private-sector groups and financial analysts.

After little more than two years at the helm in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Shaw was reassigned by the prime minister to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. Dr Nigel Clarke succeeded him in the finance ministry.

With his new portfolio responsibility, Shaw is expected to outline new plans for the agriculture sector, which is expected to contribute significantly to the Government's real GDP growth target of 2.4 per cent for the current financial year.

In his recent address at the Jamaica Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association's Expo at Independence Park, Shaw said that the Government was pursuing the establishment of a micro stock exchange that he said would complement the Junior Market. Today, Shaw is expected to provide further details on those plans.

Other speakers in the Sectoral Debate today are Phillip Paulwell, opposition spokesman on mining and energy, and Ronald Thwaites, shadow minister for education.




Robert Montague, minister with responsibility for transport and mining, is scheduled to make a statement to Parliament on United Company (UC) Rusal. His proposed statement comes in the wake of stringent sanctions by the United States (US) government against the Russian company that operates West Indies Alumina Company in Jamaica. A total of 39 Russian companies and individuals with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin were sanctioned by the US for, among other things, Russia's alleged interference in the American election.

The US government warned recently that non-US persons could face sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of the individuals or entities blacklisted.