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March 15, 2018
Investigators from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) search a vehicle at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Heroes Circle offices, Kingston, yesterday. The investigators conducted a series of raids in Kingston and St Andrew in connection with a major fraud at the Labour ministry.
Orrette Fisher

Montague bats for tax waivers on CCTVs systems

People seeking to import CCTV systems may soon be able to do so without paying taxes and duties.

Robert Montague, the national security minister, said negotiations are now taking place with the Ministry of Finance to have GCT, import duties and SCT waived for a limited time to allow more people to purchase CCTV.

Montague said that if the waiver system is approved, beneficiaries must place their cameras in the JamaicaEye System. The JamaicaEye Initiative is an anti-crime tool which would see camera feeds captured from the public space fed into a system which is monitored by selected soldiers and policemen.

"We are urging every member of the public anywhere in Jamaica so long as you have a camera to give permission and give us your CCTV feed. If you want to buy a CCTV system so long as it is a digital camera we can accept the feed."

J'can urged to embrace agriculture

Courtney Cole, chief technical director in the agriculture ministry is calling on Jamaicans to change the culture of identifying agriculture as a vocation, to a primary source of income for the growth of the society.

"Agriculture can no longer be seen as a vocation for those with limited education and shallow pockets. It is a discipline that requires a scientific approach as well as a serious business mindset if one expects to make a meaningful return on investment," Cole said.

He said Jamaica's economy benefits significantly from agriculture on an annual basis, and if more persons took agriculture as a serious business investment, then there would be a boom in the sector and the economy.

Hanna wary of Trump tariffs

Lisa Hanna, the opposition Spokesperson Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, says the proposed tariffs on a number of countries for imported aluminium and steel recently announced by United States President Donald Trump could have serious direct and indirect economic implications for Jamaica.

Hanna pointed out that JISCO, the largest steel producer in China, strategically invested US$320 million in the former UC Rusal plant in St Elizabeth.

"This is the largest single investment of any kind to Jamaica in current terms which aims to refurbish, modernise and expand the alumina plant for the establishment of several 'downstream' and ancillary manufacturing activities. This could ultimately make Jamaica a manufacturer of aluminium and steel products, while producing millions in tons of alumina. Results of this investment should include exportation of these goods to China and elsewhere on the world market," Hanna said.

She said the proposed tariffs pose a definite risk to the international market for these products as they could now attract the new US tariff; potentially limit Jamaica's exports in these industries; and result in some price increases to our local construction sector.

Orrette Fisher quits as electoral office boss

Director of Elections Orrette Fisher has resigned. He left the Electoral Office of Jamaica today.

His resignation comes ahead of a court ruling surrounding his tenure. In a letter issued to staff obtained by The STAR, Fisher asserted that all has not been well at the Electoral Office of Jamaica. He said there was a growing level of political interference affecting the organisation.

"The EOJ, as it exists today, is a far cry from what existed 23 years ago when I joined," Fisher wrote.

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