Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says he will be making an announcement in Parliament on Tuesday, February 19, regarding developments within the energy sector.
“Tune in later to Parliament and you will hear some news. I will also be saying something about electricity and some special measures that Kelly Tomblin [President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company] and I and the team have worked on, which should bring some relief to the sector,” he stated.
Minister Paulwell was addressing a breakfast forum on Jamaica’s energy sector on Tuesday morning at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.
He said the announcement, “will affect most if not all of your businesses,” and is in keeping with Government’s thrust to reduce the country’s energy bill across all sectors.
The Minister noted that during the budget discussions last year, he successfully advocated for the removal of General Consumption Tax (GCT) on a list of 31 energy saving devices, which become effective in June.
He said that while “I count that as a small victory, it certainly wasn’t enough,” as there were inconsistencies in the application of those exemptions. He noted, for example, that while florescent bulbs are exempt from GCT, Light-emitting diodes (LED) continues to attract the tax, and while solar panels are exempt, the components and accessories still attract GCT.
Tuesday morning’s forum was hosted by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC).