Farmers say removal of GCT will boost operations
LOCAL FARMERS are anticipating an announcement of the removal of general consumption tax (GCT) on agricultural inputs, which insiders say could come by the end of this month.
But the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is mum on the implementation date and a definitive response on the expected offset for the revenue that the State will be giving up.
Farmers have long complained of insufficient equipment, even as they hold back on investments, citing prohibitive costs of importing the machinery and tools needed. But all that is set to change. Speaking at a two-day Climate-Smart Agriculture Symposium, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, in New Kingston, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson, signalled that the withdrawal of GCT on farming equipment was imminent.
Minister Karl Samuda later told Gleaner Business that the matter is still “under review by the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce”, and that an official statement would be made once the review was complete.
Hanif Brown, president of the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association (JPFA), says the removal of GCT on farming inputs was pitched to the ministry as one way to strengthen the sector coming out of the pig shortage that prevailed for nearly two years.
The association, along with several others, has been
Don Wehby, group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited.