Fri | Aug 18, 2017

More straight talk needed

Published:Monday | September 5, 2016 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It was reported in the Sunday Gleaner of September 4, 2016, that Metry Seaga, head of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA), referred to comments by William Mahfood as "unfortunate".

I think that what is really unfortunate is that we are so sensitive and thin-skinned in Jamaica, that we do not like to hear straight talk or the truth.

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has been in power for six months now and I see no real progress towards turning the economy around.

In the same way that William Mahfood said that appointing Mr Vaz as the expediter is not a system; it's the same as setting up special 'growth committees' is not development! Special growth committees may come up with ideas that can be implemented years down the road.

While the appointment of Mr Vaz as expediter and setting up growth committees are good ideas, we need immediate action in order to fast-track projects that are already in the system and to encourage new projects. One such area is in real estate development. There is so much pent-up demand for housing and other construction projects, that this could be a real and immediate driver for the economy.

Unfortunately, the government bureaucracy involved in this area is awful to deal with and it makes the process of approvals very time-consuming and expensive. I have heard nothing to suggest that this area is being tackled as a matter of urgency.

We need action now and stop wasting time reacting negatively to straight talk. We in Jamaica need more straight talk and fewer diplomats.

John Mahfood