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News Briefs

Published:Saturday | November 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Two charged for plastic ban breaches


Two companies have been charged for breaching the Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition Orders as the Government ramps up enforcement in south-central Jamaica. Officials of the company will appear before the Manchester Parish Court in the coming weeks.

Despite the issuance of warning notices, those advisories had been flouted, said Philip Cross, acting manager of the Enforcement Branch of the National Environment and Planning Agency.

“However, this has not been successful and we are forced to resort to criminal prosecution as a deterrent,” he said.

The crackdown will be extended to western Jamaica next week.

The Trade Act, 2018 outlaws the import, manufacture, distribution or use of single-use plastic bags with dimensions not exceeding 24x24 inches and .03mm in thickness. Plastic drinking straws are also baned.

Offenders may be fined up to $2 million or face a term of two years’ imprisonment.


CDB, CARICOM forge stronger ties


The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen their collaboration on projects and programmes, with emphasis on capacity building, institutional strengthening, and information sharing.

CDB President Dr William Warren Smith and CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque signed the pact at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados on Wednesday following a forum that involved the Barbados government and the International Monetary Fund’s Ninth Caribbean Forum.

Under the MOU, the CDB and CARICOM will cooperate on matters concerning regional integration and the expansion of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).


Concern over dollar slide


The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica has noted concern over the increased volatility of the Jamaican dollar in currency trading, particularly against the greenback, with the weighted average selling rate closing at J$141.89 on Thursday.

The dollar has depreciated almost 10 per cent for the calendar year to date.

We also acknowledge that the solution to Jamaica’s FX situation is to increase our earning capacity through exports of goods and services and reduce its import bill through import substitution.

“The PSOJ urges the FX Working Committee established, and led by the BOJ (Bank of Jamaica), comprising the bankers, cambio dealers and members of the business community, to continue its efforts to implement the electronic trading platform and to further develop the forward currency market.

“Most importantly, the BOJ should continue to enhance its market intelligence gathering capabilities and proactive responsiveness to changing market conditions in order to reduce market imbalances which will undoubtedly occur in Jamaica’s small open economy,” the business lobby said.