Fri | Sep 22, 2017

PM pledges dialogue with business community

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2015 | 5:53 AM
Portia Simpson Miller

Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, is seeking to assure that the Government will continue to engage members of the business community when making decisions on matters of interest to them.

The assurance follows the latest dispute between members of the private sector and the government over an impending tax on imported refined sugar.

Manufacturers have accused the agriculture minister Derrick Kellier of not completing consultations before announcing that the Government will impose the tax on the key ingredient in the beverage industry.

However, speaking recently at a meeting of the Partnership for Jamaica National Council at Jamaica House, Simpson Miller said she has instructed that consultations should be had where certain decisions are to impact any area of business.

The Prime Minister, who is Chairman of the Council, stressed that unless all parties work together as one, difficulties may arise.

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association Brian Pengelley, who was representing the private sector, gave assurance of the sector’s commitment to the social partnership.

According to the Jamaica Information Service, he said the private sector will stand with the Government through tough times, but wants to be a partner in the governance process.

Pengelley reportedly also said the trust factor between the private and public sectors is continuing to improve.

The mandate of the Council is to achieve consensus on issues of national importance.

It comprises representatives of academia, civil society, private sector, labour, the opposition and the government.