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Mo’Bay Chamber Not Averse To Transfer Of TEF Resources Into Consolidated Fund

Mo’Bay Chamber Not Averse To Transfer Of TEF Resources Into Consolidated Fund
Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce President, Gloria Henry.
(Media Credit: Garwin Davis)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Gloria Henry, says her organisation is not averse to the Government’s policy shift to move the resources of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) into the consolidated fund. Ms. Henry, who was addressing a chamber luncheon at the Montego Bay Convention Centre recently, said the entity will be keeping a close eye on the development. “We will be watching carefully as TEF funds are moved closer towards the consolidated funds,” Ms. Henry said. She noted that while a special consolidated fund is more acceptable than what existed previously, “we want to ensure that the purpose of the fund is not altered.” She cited projects at the Closed Harbour Beach and the waterfront area, to be undertaken by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), as some of the TEF commitments for Montego Bay.

“The UDC and several local developers have many shovel ready projects that this forum will seek to match with potential investors,” she noted.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has assured that there will be full transparency and accountability in the handing of TEF resources and that all designated tourism projects will be undertaken as scheduled.

The Minister, in a recent address to business interests and stakeholders at the Swept Away Hotel in Negril, Westmoreland, said the decision to redirect TEF funds into the consolidated fund was in keeping with directives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The Prime Minister made it clear…that the Government has no intention to plunder or to use TEF funds in an irresponsible way,” Mr. Bartlett noted.

“I am well aware and fully understand the concerns raised…however, I am also cognisant of the fact that the country can ill-afford at this time to run afoul of the IMF,” he said.