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No progress on refined sugar tax talks

Published:Wednesday | June 10, 2015 | 6:09 AMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

The Government and manufacturers are yet to reach an agreement on the vexed issue of introducing a tax on refined sugar.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Donovan Stanbery, says the discussions are ongoing.

Stanbery further says no date has been set for the introduction of the cess.

Metry Seaga, the Deputy President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), says the association is eager to have the matter settled.

The government had proposed to introduce a cess on refined sugar but the JMA and other players in the manufacturing sector have strongly objected to the move.

It is understood that the government is looking at imposing a tax of US$35 per tonne of imported refined sugar.

Manufactures have argued that the tax will adversely affect the sector, especially those in the beverage industry.

However, the agriculture ministry has said reforming the regime governing the importation of refined sugar is critical for ensuring the long-term viability and efficiency of the sugar cane industry in Jamaica.