Mandeville Weekly News


Posted by SR (riley) on May 17 2017 at 5:46 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Economic Growth Council (EGC) Chairman, Mr. Michael Lee-Chin, said that funds have been identified to enable the National Security Ministry to conduct a feasibility study for the creation of a Global Immigration Card for members of the Jamaican diaspora.The card was one of 18 EGC targets slated for the Government for the month of March, but which, along with four others, was missed.

Mr. Lee-Chin underscored the importance of ensuring that steps are taken to speedily complete the study and create the card, pointing out that “we see the diaspora as an important partner to achieving growth and development”. Meanwhile, the EGC, in its published report, indicated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has commenced the preparation of a draft proposal on an institutional framework for promoting, coordinating and organising economic and social investments by the diaspora.

Mr. Lee-Chin also urged the Administration to complete development of the public procurement regulations and handbook being spearheaded by the Finance and the Public Service Ministry, which will complement the Procurement Act. Noting that the legislation was enacted in Parliament in 2014, Mr. Lee-Chin emphasised that “we absolutely need to get these regulations and handbook done speedily so that we can get on with work that needs to be done”.Meanwhile, the EGC is reporting that several other March targets have either been met by the Administration or are on track. These, according to the Council’s published report, include tabling of the Building Act by the Local Government and Community Development Ministry; a National Security Ministry Cabinet submission for the rationalisation of police stations and redeployment of assets into high-crime areas; phased implementation of measures facilitating witnesses giving evidence in trial proceedings via video link by the Justice Ministry; and improving border security and enhancing monitoring of Jamaica’s air and maritime space through the acquisition of surveillance aircraft and marine patrol vessels, leading to the eventual deployment of a full Domain Awareness Centre.

Additionally, a review of the licensing and regulatory processes in the fisheries, veterinary, agricultural, pharmaceutical and quality control divisions to boost efficiency and competitiveness has also commenced. The EGC’s report also indicates that as part of the process of improving the scalability and efficiency of the privatisation, asset sale and public-private partnership processes, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) plans to increase the complement of account executives handling such transactions.

The document further states that the Finance and the Public Service and Justice Ministries have commenced work to recruit or identify dedicated staff for those engagements at the Attorney General’s Department and the Ministry.Additionally, the DBJ will provide a protocol for the establishment of an Enterprise Team to handle multiple transactions. “We implore that those timelines which have not been met, that we need to put some more bounce in our steps to fulfil these,” Mr. Lee-Chin said.