PM outlines infrastructure ideas


Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has outlined a number of government initiaitives involving infrastructure in a speech to her party’s annual conference.

Speaking at the People’s National Party (PNP) annual conference on Sunday the prime minister announced that the government would be spending $1billion on a comprehensive road patching programme as well as developing a hub for world trade on the island.

The relevant part of the prime ministers speech follows and to read the whole speech click here.

“Let me turn to the question of road repairs – another economic activity that also serves to improve our infrastructure.

The much touted JDIP programme was to last five years at US$80 million per year. When we got in, we discovered that in less than two years, the JLP administration had committed US398 million dollars. Only $2 million was left for the three remaining years. It was because of this careless disregard of the fiscal situation that Dr. Phillips had to present a supplementary budget just after we took office.

We had to clean up what they left behind. When we analyzed the situation we realized that we could not afford any new, large projects at this time. Rather, through a combination of sources we will be spending over $1billion on a comprehensive road patching programme.

You have already started to see the results of this programme. It will be intensified over the next six months. The work will be carried out with equity. This is a project to improve the road conditions for the citizens of Jamaica and will not be implemented along party lines.

In the Energy Sector, the Government of Jamaica has received financing from the Inter-American Development Bank of US$20 million for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Improvement in the public sector.

The objective of the Programme is to enhance Jamaica’s Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation potential through the design and implementation of cost saving Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation measures in the Public Sector.

We continue to explore alternative energy sources to reduce the cost of and dependence on traditional power sources.

At the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change one emphasis is on Land titling. We will ensure that families can now get titles for the land that their families have occupied for several generations.

We have also broken new ground. Jamaica is the first Small Island Developing State that has established a Ministry with specific reference to Climate Change. It is an area of critical national and international importance. We are developing a Climate Change Policy. We will make public awareness and education programmes a primary focus of this policy.

We are now working on an exciting new project that will make Jamaica into a world class international hub for world trade by developing our wharves, harbours, and transshipment system.

This big idea of a Logistics Hub at the centre of the Americas serving global markets, enjoys the total buy-in of the government.

Work is now being done to prepare us to move full speed ahead with this transformative mega-project.

This links into the mega projects under consideration:

 The South to North Highway project that links Mandela Highway to Ocho Rios. This is valued at US$600m over three years
 The Fort Augusta Port Expansion Programme
 Expansion of the Kingston Transshipment Zone.
 The Caymanas Economic Zone
 And Several Hotel Projects that have been previously announced.

These are part of the vision to facilitate growth and sustainable development and provide employment.”

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