Below are the decisions from Cabinet:
1. A Bill Entitled: An Act to Amend the Companies Act
Cabinet gave approval for the Bill entitled “The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2021” to be introduced in the Houses of Parliament. The Bill seeks to provide for the holding of any general meeting (such as an annual general meeting or any extraordinary general meeting) as a virtual-only meeting (completely electronic) or a hybrid meeting, where this was not expressly prohibited by the Articles of a company. The Bill also seeks to empower the Registrar of Companies to grant extension of time for the holding of an annual general meeting.
2. Accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Hauge Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
Cabinet gave approval for Jamaica’s accession to: (a) the Patent Cooperation Treaty; and (b) the Geneva Act of the Hauge Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs adopted at Geneva on 2 July 1999 (The Hauge Agreement), with the Declarations and Notifications, as recommended.
3. Increase in Monetary Penalties and Custodial Sentences in Legislation under the Portfolio of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology
Cabinet gave approval for the increases recommended by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology to monetary penalties and custodial sentences in relation to legislation falling under its portfolio. The Ministry, upon examination of several pieces of legislation within its portfolio, noted that in some of the enactments administered, the monetary penalties were miniscule and did not serve as a deterrent to the commission of the prescribed offences nor were they proportional to the gravity of the offences. Therefore, the increases to the monetary penalties and custodial sentences are being proposed to ensure alignment with the current pattern or scale of penalties prescribed in recently promulgated legislation. Cabinet also gave approval for the issuance of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to amend the relevant legislation.
4. Amendments to the Spectrum Pricing Policy and Framework
Cabinet gave approval for the Spectrum Pricing Policy and Framework related to the charging of fees for the regulation, management, and administration of the radio frequency spectrum to be amended to include provisions related to the Refund of Spectrum Usage (Licence) and Spectrum Management Fees as follows:
- “There shall be no refund of Spectrum Usage (Licence) Fees or Spectrum Management Fees.
A holder of a spectrum licence may however request a pro-rated credit of Spectrum Usage (Licence) Fees to its account in the event it wishes to relinquish one or more of its licences. The Spectrum Usage (Licence) Fee that may be credited is equivalent to the amount of time from the date of cancellation to the expiration date of the licence. The request for a pro-rated credit shall be made to the regulator, in writing, at the time the license requests to relinquish its licence”.
- Approval was also given to replace Appendix 2 (Schedule of Fees) with an updated Schedule of Fees.
5. Outcome of Negotiations for the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project
Cabinet gave approval for the negotiated price of US two hundred and seventy-four million, five hundred and seventeen thousand, four hundred and eight dollars and nine cents (US$274,517,408.09) for the execution of the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC); with the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited as the Implementing Agency.
The Project is comprised of the Montego Bay Bypass, the Barnett Street/West Green Avenue road, the Long Hill Bypass, and the Drainage Study of the Montego Bay Bypass area.
6. The International Corporate and Trust Services Providers (Change of Name and Amendment Act, 2021)
Cabinet gave approval for the Bill entitled: “The International Corporate and Trust Services Providers (Change of Name and Amendment) Act, 2021” to be introduced in the Houses of Parliament.
7. Annual Report of the Activities of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) for the Period 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021
Cabinet approved the Annual Report of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Cabinet also approved the submission of the NATFATIP Annual Report to the United States of America Department of State through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Jamaica has maintained its Tier 2 ranking in the 2020 United States of America (USA) Department of State Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
8. National Housing Trust Special Benefit Order – Hummingbird Meadows, Phase 1, Housing Development, Clarendon
Cabinet gave approval for the promulgation of a Special Benefit Order, effective 30 July 2021, to facilitate the allocation of 16 housing solutions at the Hummingbird Meadows, Phase 1, Housing Development in Clarendon, to contributors to the National Housing Trust (NHT), who met the criteria specified. Cabinet also gave approval for the issuance of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to facilitate the promulgation of the said Special Benefit Order.
9. Approval to Repeal the Plants (Quarantine) Act and Replace with New Legislation, ‘The Plant Health Act’
- the repeal of The Plants (Quarantine) Act, 1993;
- the enactment of new legislation with nomenclature such as ‘The Plant Health Act’ to allow for the enactment of a comprehensive legislation that would be consistent with modern phytosanitary best practices and Jamaica’s international obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention, to which Jamaica had been a Contracting Party since 24 November 1969;
- the consequential amendment to the Agricultural Produce Act in order to consolidate the functions of the Plant Quarantine/Produce Inspection Branch in relation to plant trade, specifically agricultural produce for both export and import under one Act;
- consequential amendment to the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority Act in order to consolidate the functions of the Plant Quarantine/Produce Inspection Branch in relation to plant trade, specifically regulated agricultural commodity for both export and import under one Act;
- any other consequential amendments that may arise; and
- the issuance of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
10. Fiscal Policy Paper Financial Year 2021/2022 Interim Report and Proposals for the First Supplementary Estimates 2021/2022
Cabinet gave approval for:
- the Fiscal Policy Paper (FPP) financial year 2021/2022 Interim Report incorporating the economic outturn of financial year 2020/2021, the performance of the first quarter of the financial year 2021/2022 (April to July 2021), and the medium term, macro-fiscal projections;
- the Second Supplementary Estimates 2021/2022 reflecting the adjustments to Government expenditure as shown in the interim FPP;
- the expenditure ceilings for Ministries, departments and agencies covering the financial year 2022/2023 and the medium term; and
- the tabling of the Fiscal Policy Paper financial year 2021/2022 Interim Report and the First Supplementary Estimates 2021/2022 in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, 28 September 2021.
Cabinet received and approved the following annual reports and/or financial statements to be tabled in Parliament:
- Annual Report of the University of Technology, Jamaica (Utech) for the Financial Year 2018/2019
- Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements of the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB) for the Financial Year 2020/2021
- Casino Gaming Commission (CGC) Annual Report for Year Ended 31 March 2021
- Annual Report of the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority (PCOA) for Financial Year 2015/2016
- Annual Report of the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority (PCOA) for Financial Year 2016/2017
- Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements of the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited (MBFZ) for the Financial Year 2019/2020
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract for the procurement of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for a period of twelve months in the amount of US one million, six hundred and ninety-six thousand, six hundred and thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents (US$1,696,637.50) or Jamaican two hundred and thirty-four million, one hundred and thirty-five thousand, nine hundred and seventy-five dollars (J$234,135,975.00), excluding General Consumption Tax, to Mylan Labs Limited.
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract for the provision of material and labour for the construction of the parking area at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) Quadrants (Phase 2) for a period of eight months in the amount of one hundred and eighty-seven million, one hundred and seventy-six thousand, nine hundred and seventy dollars ($187,176,970.00) to Rogers Land Development Limited.
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract for the provision of canteen concessionaire services for Petrojam Limited for a period of two years in the amount of two hundred and thirteen million, three hundred and twenty-four thousand, two hundred and one dollars and fifty-four cents ($213,324,201.54) to Mother’s Enterprise Limited.
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract for the provision of motor vehicle consumables for a period of one year, 2021 to 2022 by the Tax Administration Jamaica, in the amount of US five hundred and ninety-eight thousand, five hundred dollars (US$598,500.00) or Jamaican ninety-two million, seven hundred and ninety thousand, nine hundred and ninety dollars (J$92,790,990.00) to HID CID Limited.
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract to undertake renovation works at the Jamaica Conference Centre located at 14 to 20 Port Royal Street, Kingston, in the amount of one hundred and fifteen million, eighty-eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty-five dollars ($115,088,755.00) to Geecho Consultants & Construction Limited.
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract for the supply of clinical chemistry systems for general chemical and immunochemistry for the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) for a period of three years in the amount of US two million, two hundred and twenty-nine thousand, five hundred and twenty-one dollars and twenty-three cents (US$2,229,521.23) to Facey Commodity Limited.
The Honourable Fayval Williams
Minister of Education, Youth and Information