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Published:Wednesday | June 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Gov't, JMA to hold talks on GCT Act amendments

The Government has reportedly agreed to hold talks with members of the private sector concerned about proposed changes to the General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act.

Last week, the head of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association, Brian Pengelly, said if Parliament passes the proposed amendments to the GCT Act, it would mean the end of the local manufacturing sector and loss of employment for thousands of people.

He said the amendments would require manufacturers to make upfront GCT payments for raw materials and capital equipment to modernise their plants.

Pengelley said, to make matters worse, the amendments under consideration stipulate that refund claims cannot be made until after five months and six months for capital goods.

On Sunday night, Pengelley told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that the Government has responded to the concerns of the private sector.

He said meetings were being arranged to discuss the matter and he was optimistic the parties would be able to reach a favourable resolution on the issues.

JTA votes for new president

Members of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) yesterday began a week of voting to choose a president for the 2015-2016 period.

The elections, which will take place in most public schools, will run until Friday.

Five teachers have offered themselves for the post.

Among them are principals Norman Allen, Melva Humes-Johnson and Georgia Waugh Richards.

The other contenders are classroom teachers Claudette James and Merlene Dawes.

Earlier this month, an education ministry official urged the JTA to ensure it chooses a candidate who displays good character.

Garth Gilmore, director of school's personnel in the education ministry, said the future president should be one who has the qualities of a professional.

Last year's election was marred by controversy after then candidate Doran Dixon made statements which seemed to compare Education Minister Ronald Thwaites to a mongrel dog and then refused to apologise.

Dixon went on to win the election and will take over from Dr Mark Nicely in August.

The winner of this week's election will be officially known as the president-elect and will take up office in August next year.

Cop dies in St Catherine crash

A police constable attached to the Kingston and St Andrew Major Investigation Task Force died after receiving multiple injuries in a motor vehicle accident about 2 a.m. yesterday.

It is reported that the police constable, identified as Dwayne Brown, was driving on King Street in Linstead, St Catherine, when he crashed into a utility pole.

The injured policeman was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police Commissioner Owen Ellington urged all members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to be careful when driving on the roads.