Tue | Nov 13, 2018

JCC against reimposition of refined sugar tax

Published:Wednesday | September 5, 2018 | 4:18 PM

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) says it is against the reimposition of taxes on imported refined or granulated sugar as put forward by Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw who said he's going after rogue manufacturers.

Shaw, speaking at a sugar stakeholders meeting yesterday, said that he is in possession of more than anecdotal evidence that sugar imports meant for the manufacturing sector have illegally found their way into the distributive and retail sectors.

READ: Shaw blames manufacturers for growing woes in the sugar industry

Manufacturers benefit from duty-free access to import refined sugar as raw material.

As a response, Shaw proposed to re-impose the duties on sugar meant for the manufacturing sector, with a view to having those duties re-claimed by legitimate manufacturers within 30 days.

But, the JCC said it does not support the move arguing that it “will drive up the cost of doing business.”

“Our nation needs fewer, not more, obstacles in the way of stimulating business growth and sustainability,” the JCC said.

Instead, the chamber wants Shaw to hand over the matter to the police “including the identities of the entities and individuals involved.”

“ The JCC is fully in support of having the law take its course without fear or favour, and any business operators or public sector employees in the border agencies that are involved in the commission or facilitation of such illicit trade, should, if evidence is available, be subjected to the full weight of the law,” the JCC said.

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