Friday 14 August, 2020

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force issues report

Chairman of the Task Force and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke.

Chairman of the Task Force and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke.

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force was on Tuesday tabled in the House of Representatives.

The Task Force, which consisted of ministers of government, members of the public sector, civil society, union and business leaders, was appointed to develop recommendations that can assist Jamaica in its economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the title “Rebuild Jamaica”, the report focuses on key policy and legislative reforms that could support Jamaica’s economic and jobs recovery.

Chairman of the Task Force and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke said that the uncertain depth and duration of the pandemic compounds the need for the task force.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious global public health threat in a century and is causing the most damaging global economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Every country in the world is being gravely affected, and Jamaica is no exception,” Clarke said.

As such, Jamaica’s recovery efforts must immediately start and the country must adapt to living with the realities of COVID-19, the finance minister added.

The Task Force Report puts forward ambitious reforms that, on implementation, will assist with the country’s recovery.

“Jamaica’s resilience has been tested time and time again. And we have always come on top. This time is no different. By embracing reform with ambition, Jamaica can endure this pandemic, absorb its adverse social and economic effects, restore lost jobs and output, and not only “rebuild Jamaica”, but attain even higher levels of economic and social development in the years to come,” Clarke said.

The Task Force met weekly, for seven weeks, with almost 100 per cent attendance at each meeting. Several Sub-Committees were also formed.

In aggregate, these sub-committees had the participation of over 100 persons, and facilitated broad consultation with stakeholder groups, Clarke said.

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