The Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda has clarified comments which enraged members of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) last week.
Speaking at a press conference last Wednesday, Minister Samuda announced measures to stop the leakage of duty free refined sugar from the manufacturing sector into the retail trade.
Then on Thursday, President of the JMA, Metry Seaga called a press conference and called for the Commerce Minister to retract the claim within seven days.
In a joint statement between the Ministry and the JMA last evening, Minister Samuda said it was not his intent to tarnish the reputation of the honest and hardworking members of the manufacturing sector.
Samuda says the ministry and the JMA have agreed to work together to ensure that any possible sources of leakage of duty-free refined sugar intended for the manufacturing trade are identified.
He says anyone found culpable will receive the maximum punishment under the law.
According to the Commerce Minister, the intent is to protect the country’s revenue.
While the statement from Samuda is not the retraction that the JMA had demanded, Seaga says he’s satisfied with the Minister’s response.