I refer to an editorial in to-day’s Gleaner, and I have the following comments:

The co-chairs are two men from the financial and real estate sectors, with the added responsibilities relating to investments in properties. I have no doubt they are competent in their respective disciplines.

But which of these has experience in manufacturing, production and also energy, because the Country needs a positive path in these areas. Our exports are low, our manufacturing sector is not being promoted; there is not even a plan set out which will create the necessary drive to produce goods and services. What about energy? There is the urgent need, to reduce the cost of energy, by building new power producing plants, using the proper fuels that will result in a savings.

Our labor is idle and we need to find jobs by accessing these productive ideas, because “Oversight” as I understand, will only manage and authenticate the payout of funds for various services, and will not employ one laborer, chemist, or technician. No doubt the IMF will receive some satisfaction that their money is managed, but no satisfaction as to: Will there will be a return on investment? One has to find a way to reduce our trading deficit, which has spiraled out of reach.

In reviewing the editorial’s description, the members of this committee, according to a statement made by one of the co-chairs, “I am not here to do anyone’s bidding,” are serious people! They are here to execute a mandate, what mandate is somewhat confusing, because the scope of this mandate is not clear to me and to others.

Then the committee is comprised of:  Mr. Byles, Mr. Wynter, the financial secretary, the head of the Finance Ministry’s unit, private sector’s input JMA and JEA, PSOJ, other public sector inputs, and representatives of labor unions, no doubt (what, all of them?), Banker’s association This may be all of fourteen persons with varying interests; if you add bauxite and energy sectors, Factory Corporation, Standards, and Chambers of Commerce, not to mention EX-IM Bank.

If properly executed, this group will have attracted contributions from all sectors in view within Kingston and St. Andrew. What about Tourism? This is a growth sector, and more business from that group, would also be welcome. So, hotels, villas, tour agencies, and Attractions need to be set growth targets, and include JHTA, Tourism Product, and Shopping entities as well, and include Piers and Services.

The point is, if all sectors contributed to the deficit all bear the responsibility that  IMF requires to payback. The editor mentions the rates at which bureaucracy public and private may behave and I suggest, “Leave it to the Chair.”

(451 words)







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