Tax break for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers, farm­ers

Jamaica Gleaner - - UNITED STATES ELECTIONS 2016 -

PRES­I­DENT OF the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety of Ja­maica, Ains­ley Jones, has wel­comed the re­moval of the spe­cial con­sump­tion tax (SCT) on al­co­hol used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, point­ing out that con­sumers would ben­e­fit from this mea­sure.

“Any mea­sure to re­duce the cost as­so­ci­ated with man­u­fac­tur­ing would be a ben­e­fit to the con­sumer, as the cost as­so­ci­ated with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has been sky­rock­et­ing, and that is cause for con­cern for some per­sons using phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals,” he told The Gleaner.

Jones also ar­gued that the re­duc­tion in the price of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals would lead to bet­ter health out­comes as per­sons would now be able to af­ford phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals which are man­u­fac­tured lo­cally.

Min­is­ter of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Karl Sa­muda yes­ter­day an­nounced the re­moval of SCT on al­co­hol used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, as well as the zero rat­ing of gen­eral con­sump­tion tax (GCT) on agri­cul­tural in­puts.

EM­POWER FARM­ERS

In a state­ment to Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day, Sa­muda said the cur­rent list of zero-rated items for the agri­cul­ture sec­tor was too lim­ited, not­ing that the Gov­ern­ment wants to em­power farm­ers to utilise more modern tech­nol­ogy in farm­ing.

The Gov­ern­ment will give up $4.2 bil­lion in rev­enues an­nu­ally with the re­moval of GCT on agri­cul­tural in­puts and SCT on al­co­hol used in man­u­fac­tur­ing of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Sa­muda said the Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to pro­vide these tax breaks is in keep­ing with its growth strat­egy, adding that the ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to at­tract in­vest­ment in man­u­fac­tur­ing and the agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

“We have taken the bold ini­tia­tive to in­tro­duce the measures ... we are on a col­li­sion course with growth,” Sa­muda added.

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