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Jamaica: Sugar Fight – Manufacturers, Farmers At Loggerheads Over Tax On Refined Sweetener Imports

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), Richard Pandohie, has vowed that his organisation will resist any attempt to centralise the importation of refined sugar, through the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA), which a senior technocrat announced yesterday as settled policy that the Government would implement.

The plan, as articulated by director in the Strategic Planning Division of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Delroy Coley, a last-minute stand-in for portfolio minister Audley Shaw, would route the importation of refined sugar through the Sugar Industry Authority (SIA), which would be stored in a bonded warehouse. From there, it would be distributed to individual manufacturers.

Manufacturers would be required to pay duty upfront on refined sugar, with a rebate given upon verification of its use in manufacturing.

This was disclosed during the 70th annual general meeting of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers’ Association at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon yesterday.

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