Thu | Jul 18, 2019

On the Corner with EPOC | Cassia Park residents want Gov’t to disclose terms of Chinese deals

Published:Sunday | October 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
Diane Dawkins
Chantell Murray
Julian Treleven
Lorraine Campbell
Queenie Hunt
Richard Brown
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Residents of Cassia Park in east central St Andrew have asked co-chairman of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Keith Duncan, to take a message to the Government. They are demanding details of the deals with the Chinese who are involved in several infrastructure projects locally.

The residents, who were participating in the latest Gleaner On the Corner with EPOC forum at the Dollaz fi Dollaz Chill Spot on Red Hills Road, were adamant that Jamaicans must be told all the details of the contracts.

According to the residents, they are worried about the debt that is being left for their children and grandchildren because of deals with the Asian economic giant.

"We have the Chinese coming here and we are not giving them what we want. They are telling us what they want. Little from this, this is a Chinese country. Why are they taking the best from us and we don't have any say?" questioned Carla Lalor, even as she admitted that the Chinese did better-quality work than many local contractors.

 

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Fellow resident Michael Lawson wants to know what collateral is Jamaica putting up for the loans.

He insisted that when ordinary Jamaicans borrow loans they have to put up collateral, and expressed fear that Jamaica is being sold to the Chinese.

In his response, Duncan argued that Jamaica has been paying off its more expensive debts and is borrowing money from the Chinese to invest in the country's infrastructure.

"The Chinese are willing to take the risk. But it is not increasing our debt, because we are paying down on our debt," added Duncan.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com