Thursday, April 18, 2024

Make field level for private sector

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THE PRIVATE SECTOR has told Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that it wants a level playing field when it comes to granting tax and other concessions to investors.
President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), Lalu Vaswani, speaking to members minutes before the  the Prime Minister addressed them on Wednesday, said: “Several established businesses have questioned the rationale for Government to grant a new business, within an existing sector, unique concessions that provide the beneficiary with reduced operating costs relative to other established businesses of the same sector.”
Vaswani did not name any entity but it was recently revealed that certain concessions were granted to the soon-to-be-open American-owned Cost-U-Less bulk shopping store.
Vaswani added: “The BCCI has formally communicated its members’ concerns to the Ministry of Finance so that other businesses with confirmed plans for expansion may have the opportunity to benefit from equal treatment.”
The chamber president told the Prime Minister that the private sector needed “an appropriate level of economic activity to enable its constituents, not just to survive, but to grow and flourish”.
“In this way, corporations can contribute to national development in terms of earning foreign exchange, sustaining existing and creating new jobs as well as promoting investments that stimulate growth in the economy,” he pointed out.
The BCCI boss was also full of praise for the Prime Minister’s intervention to defuse the planned national shutdown by the Barbados Workers’ Union over LIME’s dismissal of 97 workers. 
“The BCCI expresses our appreciation and gratitude to you, Prime Minister, for the timely and constructive role you, your ministerial colleague and officials in the Ministry of Labour played in averting a potential national strike earlier this month. Your intervention saved the national economy from inestimable possible damage,” Vaswani said.
The BCCI president also expressed concern that a dispute with a single employer could have entangled other employers without following additional steps.
“This situation needs to be addressed by the social partners in a consensual manner if industrial harmony, which we all desire, is to prevail,” he added. (GE)

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