Please see below activities of the Cabinet since the last briefing.
- Purchase of Land for Cross Roads Tax Office/ TAJ
Cabinet has given approval for the purchase of land at a cost of two hundred and twenty-nine million dollars ($229,000,000.00), located on the grounds of the Nuttall Memorial Hospital for the construction of a building to house the Cross Roads Tax Office and other TAJ offices.
- Development of Port Royal
Further to prior decisions of April 23, 2018, on the acquisition of leasehold interest in the unexpired 35-year lease agreement between the Commissioner of Lands and Morgan’s Harbour Ltd, Cabinet has agreed to the acquisition of nine acres of land rather than the original fourteen acres. These acres fall on Lots 96 and 127 part of Port Royal known as Red Land and Green Land (Old Coaling Station/Wharf) in the parish of Kingston. This is being done for the development of Port Royal by the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Urban Development Corporation.
This will be undertaken by the National Land Agency utilising the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. Community consultations have been on-going in respect of this proposed development.
- Hosting of First Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium
Cabinet also gave approval for the hosting of the first Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 27-28, 2018.
Cabinet has taken note that bamboo, one of the world’s fastest-growing plants and a rapidly renewing source of fibre, is recognized as a multiple purpose non-timber forest resource which is observed as supportive of value chains across the world, worth approximately US$60Million per year.
Jamaica and Suriname are members of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to promoting the benefits to users and producers of bamboo and rattan, within the context of a sustainable resource base. This was noted as key determinants in the region being selected to host the international symposium.
Cabinet also took note that Jamaica became Chair of the INBAR Council of 43 member states in 2015 and subsequently under Jamaica’s leadership, INBAR began formulating a proposal to host this regional symposium to initiate a region-wide programme for bamboo in the Caribbean.
This is noted as a timely meeting to explore packaging means, especially in light of recent conversations to ban Styrofoam and plastic.
- Annual Reports
The following reports have been approved for tabling in Parliament:
- Annual Report & Audited Statements of the Casino Gaming Commission for the year ended March 2017
- Annual Report and Audited Statement of the Kingston Freezone Company Limited for the 2016/17 financial year
- Annual Report & Audited financial statements of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) for the year ended March 2017
- Annual Report & Audited financial statements of the Nutrition Products Limited for the year ended March 2017
- Annual Report of the Overseas Examination Council (OEC) 2016/2017
- Annual Report of the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) 2016/17
- Annual Report of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons for the year ended March 2018
- Carlong Publishers Ltd has been approved for the award of a contract for the supply and distribution of primary textbooks for students in grades one to three across the country.
This is under the 2018/2019 Primary Textbook Programme. The contract is in the sum of one million, nine hundred and forty-one thousand, eight hundred and forty-eight United States dollars and thirty-four cents (US$1,941,848.34)
- Procurement & Distribution of Textbooks under the National Textbook Loan Scheme
Cabinet approved the award of three contracts for the provision and distribution of textbooks for students under the National Textbook Loan Scheme for 2018/19:
- Kingston Bookshop Ltd – two hundred and ten million, five hundred and seventeen thousand, five hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars and fourteen cents (J$210,517,535.14)
- Carlong Publishers (Caribbean Ltd) – one hundred and ten million, five hundred and ninety-three thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven dollars and sixty-five cents (J$110,593,387.65) and
- Book Wizard Ltd- sixty-five million, five hundred and eighty-seven thousand and two hundred dollars (J$65,587,200.00)
- Bank of Jamaica
In respect of the supply and installation of two Banknote Processing Systems (BPS) 3000 Banknote Processing Machines and Bundle Packing Systems to the Bank of Jamaica, the Cabinet has approved the award of a contract to Giesecke Y Devrient de Mexico (G & D, Mexico) in the sum of one million seven hundred and ninety one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven euros (€1,791,667.00).
- Bellevue Hospital
Cabinet also approved the award of a contract to Modern Investigation and Security Limited in the sum of one hundred and twenty-six million, nine hundred and eighteen thousand, and eight hundred and twenty-eight dollars ($126,918,828.00) for the provision of private security services over a period of three years at the Bellevue Hospital.
- NSWMA Compactor Trucks
Kingston Industrial Garage (KIG) has been approved for a contract in the amount of one million, seven hundred and forty-nine thousand, two hundred and sixty-four United States dollars (USD$1,749,264.00) for the purchase of 12 garbage compactors for the National Solid Waste Management Authority.
- National Water Commission
Cabinet has approved the award of a contract for provision of consulting services, for the implementation of a Financial Information Management System (FIM) by the National Water Commission to Fujitsu Caribbean (Jamaica) Ltd. The contracted is valued at two million, eight hundred and thirty-nine thousand, four hundred and nineteen United States dollars and seventeen cents (US$2,839,419.17).
This contract will include provision of the following services:
- Off the self FIMS software
- A platform/service to host the FIMS application
- Implementation and advisory services
- Support and maintenance for 4 years following implementation and
- A data migration strategy
Measuring Growth in the Jamaican Economy
The Cabinet has received a comprehensive report which has provided information on production expenditure and income approaches used to measure GDP; the factors contributing to the growth rate of the GDP; activities included in the analysis; the sources of the data; and the mechanisms utilised.
Given concerns raised in various fora regarding the accuracy of growth measurement systems employed, we will now have an update from Minister Fayval Williams from the Ministry of Finance.
Senator Ruel Reid
Minister of Information