Sweet refined sugar deal for whom ?

Everyday I wake and and cannot help but being amused at the level of stupidity that passes for sound management and judgement in this country, I laugh because I don’t want to cry.

It was recently reported that the state is losing billions of dollars in taxes in the form of custom duties at the ports due to the current imported refined sugar regime.

In the existing arrangements, certified manufacturers are allowed to import refined sugar to be used in the production of goods and are not charged custom duties given its a raw material . It however appears that “some” importers are not manufacturers or are importing significantly more than they consume and then sell the rest on the market for significant profits.

The President of the All Island Cane farmers claims that the losses as a result of these renegade importers runs into billions , yes billions to dollars and he fully supports the position taken by the minister.

Firstly, if we can quantity the allegedly losses, then I am going to assume we have a pretty good idea of how much sugar is imported but does not end up in manufacturing but on the shelves. If my assumptions are correct, then its really not too difficult to determine, which importers are really not manufacturers or are importing significantly more than they can ever consume and are most likely the ones who are cheating the country of taxes.

I will also assume that these importers have licenses to import refined sugar and I will also further assume the importers and their businesses are domiciled in Jamaica.

I will further assume the customs department will have good records and that we have a police force that can conduct investigations into what is really fraud.

Now if all my assumptions are correct, it therefore means that without any change in the current regime, we can catch the culprits and make them pay in more ways than one, correct?

Well, in Jamaica that appears to be way too much hard work, the easier way is to create a monopoly where a government body and we know government is not good at doing anything but creating bureaucracy to be given sole responsibility for the importation of the commodity and everyone must now go to that one body for their needs. ( More room for corruption)

Oh, what brilliance.

I believe the people who arrived at this position and the minister who supported it should by given an award for sheer stupidity, but then I said, you know something Jay, its not stupidity at all, its sheer brilliance.

When last have you heard a body crying out that the GOJ is losing money and they want to help the GOJ plug that gap so the country can get more?

It therefore means that some “bodies” recognize that some other “bodies” are making billions that they could make and want to ensure the get their share of the pie.

So here we have a sweet deal that is bound to make some “bodies” really, really rich.

Sheer brilliance !!


3 Responses

  1. Jay, those in the trade know who the culprits are. One easily identified culprit operates his manufacturing facility in the East Kingston constituency. You are 100% right. This is an internal party fight over spoils and above-board businessmen are being dragged into this fight. Jamaica Cane Products Sales, the Minister of Agriculture, and the All Island Cane Farmers Association are knowingly being disingenuous.

  2. Jamaica is the best place to ruin a business !

  3. It was not to hard to figure out what was going on here. This is one sick !@#$@#$ country.

    This is the response from the Gleaner which mirrors my position on this matter

    However, Seaga has alleged that Rickards has taken that stance because JCPS stands to gain from the SIA takeover – his inference being that SIA plans to hire JCPS to do the distribution of refined sugar.

    “They go home and sit down while Mr Rickards and his team reaps the benefit?” he asked.

    “That won’t be allowed to happen,” he declared.


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