Hylton holding talks on sugar tax
Industry and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton, says talks are being held to reach an amicable agreement between the government and manufacturers who are against the imposition of a tax on imported refined sugar.
The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) has strongly objected to the cess, indicating that the tax will adversely affect the sector, especially the beverage industry.
The JMA says that some companies have indicated that they are prepared to reconsider investments, close their businesses and move to more competitive markets if the cess is imposed.
The association had called for the intervention of the Industry and Commerce Minister.
Minister Hylton says he is engaging the agriculture minister, who announced the impending tax, to look at possible solution to the impasse.
He says the discussions are to continue this week.
Asked specifically if the tax on refined sugar is being reconsidered, the industry and commerce minister would only say that all options are being explored to resolve the matter.
Manufacturers have said that they will not pay the tax.