Fri | Jul 19, 2019

JCC to lobby for business supportive legislation

Published:Thursday | January 10, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Lloyd Distant (left), president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, in discussion with Lion Robert Lawrence, first vice-president of the Lions Club of Kingston, at its luncheon meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Lloyd Distant, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), says that the organisation will this year be lobbying for the rationalisation and simplification of Jamaica's tax system and for the introduction of legislation and regulations to drive business growth.

"We continue to be constrained by a system of high direct taxation that penalises a small sector of the society, and this includes a suite of what we call nuisance taxes and fees. It is our contention that we must move towards indirect taxation and the revocation of taxation on dividends, the removal of the asset tax, and the removal of the minimum business tax," Distant said.

The JCC president was speaking at the Lions Club of Kingston meeting held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew yesterday as he outlined the organisation's 2019 agenda.

He said that the legislative, regulatory, and business processes constrained economic growth and expansion, therefore the organisation would be forging key partnerships to ensure that the Government prioritises legislation that supports business.

"We are keen supporters of the drive spearheaded by the Trade Facilitation Team Task Force for the early repeal and replacement of the Customs Act, the introduction of the electronic single window, the roll-out of the AMANDA (application management and data automation) system to speed up the buildings approvals process, the revision of the labour relations code, and many others," Distant said.

He added that with timely changes to ensure a more appropriate, enabling environment, not only would Jamaica be able to record fast and more sustainable growth, but also improve its ease of doing business ranking.

"The JCC is also seeking to develop a mechanism that will enable our MSMEs, in particular, to participate in some of the major infrastructural projects taking place across the country," said Distant.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com