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'An absolutely great move'

Published:Wednesday | February 20, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) has welcomed the news that its members are to see a reduction in the amount they pay on their electricity bill in the near future.

"It's an absolutely great move, we have been calling for this for a long time now so it is good that the Government has finally stepped in." president of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association, Brian Pengelley told The Gleaner.

Addressing Parliament yesterday, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, said as part of efforts to ease the burden of high electricity cost facing manufacturers and producers, an agreement has been reached to offer a 25 per cent discount on non-fuel tariffs to industrial JPS customers.

As the JMA president welcomed the news yesterday, he also responded to criticisms that the 25 per cent reduction in non-fuel tariff would only lead to a 10 per cent saving for consumers. Pengelley insisted that this was still welcome for those customers who will benefit.

"In life you have to crawl before you can walk so we welcome it," he said.

In the meantime, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Christopher Zacca said he was withholding comments on the matter until he meets with the JMA and have discussions.

"It's something that we have been working with the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association and the (Jamaica) Chamber of Commerce on, and I want to talk to them. I don't think I have a comment on it right now," he said.