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EGC chairman says 66 of 111 growth initiatives have been achieved so far

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Chairman of the Economic Growth Council (EGC), Michael Lee-Chin, says 66 of the 111 growth initiatives contained in that body's Call to Action mandate have been achieved since its establishment in April 2016.

This, Lee-Chin, points out, equates to a completion rate of 59 per cent of the council's targets focused on repositioning Jamaica to achieve five per cent economic growth in four years.

He was speaking at the EGC's fifth quarterly briefing at Jamaica House today.

Lee-Chin said notable among the successes are the National Security Ministry's roll-out of the 'JamaicaEye' national CCTV surveillance initiative in March; redeployment of Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) resources to high crime areas; and the employment of more mobile policing strategies in St Catherine, Clarendon, Westmoreland and St James; the National Housing Trust's (NHT) roll-out of micro-financing for housing solutions targeting low-income earners; and Parliament's passage of the Procurement Act and Regulations 1 and 2.

The EGC chairman said significant work has been completed in examining the feasibility of a Global Immigration Card, adding that additional work is being done to fine-tune the reciprocal benefits to be derived by beneficiaries.

He further indicated that a review of the technical and financial consultancy proposal to undertake a marketing study to promote the Diaspora Bond has been completed.

Other major developments highlighted by Lee-Chin include the installation of video-link equipment in 50 courtrooms, which, he said “is nearing completion”; the completion of five Development Orders for Portland, Trelawny, Manchester, Negril and Green Island, with plans for stakeholder consultations to explore similar provisions for all parishes by June 2018; and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation's spearheading of the hiring of an international firm to complete Jamaica's National Spatial Plan.

He indicated that over the next quarter, the EGC will continue work to complete a Cabinet Submission for a revised investment framework for pension funds and insurance companies. This will focus on investment regulations, risk management guidelines, and supervisory and data-reporting agreements.

Meanwhile, Lee-Chin advised that several other recommendations in the EGC's Call to Action document are being given significant priority focus.

These are work by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to improve the predictability of the development approval process through the roll-out of a framework for standard fees to be charged, by December 2018.

Additionally, he said the EGC will be supporting work by the National Land Agency (NLA) to facilitate the issue of more than 4,000 new land titles for unregistered parcels under a new pilot project, by March 2019.

He further advised that the council will be collaborating with the National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), National Irrigation Commission (NIC) and the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation to develop a service-level agreement targeting improved collaboration on engagements being performed by these entities to ensure more timely and efficient execution of projects.

“To say I am heartened by what I have seen over the last two years is an understatement. Today, I feel proud to be a Jamaican,” Lee-Chin said.

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