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PSOJ welcomes new date for tax incentive law - Zacca

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Christopher Zacca, the president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), said yesterday that his organisation welcomes the announcement that a new date has been agreed for the tabling of the Omnibus Tax Incentive legislation.

"I am happy that the IMF has seen it fit to extend the timeline. I don't think it will be too long because on a matter so important I think it is critical that we get it right because it has such ground-breaking implications for the country," Zacca said.

Jamaica had committed to having the Omnibus Tax Incentives Act tabled in Parliament by September 30. However, last week Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips, in a statement to the House, said issues have arisen which will delay the timeline.

The minister told The Gleaner yesterday that the bill will be before Parliament before the end of October, assuring "we are on pace with that".

At the same time, Zacca said yesterday that his organisation will continue to work with the Government to ensure the implementation of agreed structural reforms such as tax reform.

"We have been very happy at the consultative approach taken by the minister of finance and the Government, especially in setting up the incentives working group, which has representatives of the private sector and public sector," Zacca said.

The Omnibus Tax Incentive Act is aimed at eliminating ministerial discretionary powers to grant or validate any tax relief, and put in place a transparent regime for limited tax incentives.

Zacca is mindful that all sector interest "won't get what they want", even as he insists "there will have to be some compromises by both sides."

He said, however, that at the end of the day, the country will reach a point where "we have a new tax incentive law, which puts us on a sound footing competitively internationally".