The discretionary power of the Minister of Finance to grant waivers will soon be restricted.
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, told a special post Cabinet retreat press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, on Monday (January 14), that a comprehensive review of the discretionary power of the Minister of Finance to grant waivers has been completed, with a view to improving the efficiency of the tax system.
“We have agreed that there should be a sharp reduction and ultimately elimination of ministerial discretion in this regard,” said the Minister.
He also stated that by year end, there should be preparation of omnibus incentive legislation and a Charities Act that should form the framework in this regard.
The Minister explained that the waiver issue has to be settled to the finest detail prior to the start of the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Dr. Phillips also informed that before the Cabinet retreat last week, negotiations with the IMF were far advanced in critical areas, such as the Public Sector Transformation Programme (PSTP). The PSTP aims at rationalizing the entire Public Service for greater efficiency. He said this programme is being accelerated and is on track.
The Finance Minister also stated that 12 agencies have been identified for Executive Agency status, noting that the Customs Department is among them.