Cabinet’s Krauck Conundrum

Conflicting signals are coming from the Portia Simpson Miller administration regarding further engagement between the government and the Krauck Group over proposed investments in Jamaica’s logistics hub.

This morning, a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, OPM, indicated that the Cabinet will no longer continue negotiations with Krauck based on the recommendations of the National Logistics Initiative Council, NLIC.

The NLIC was tasked with assessing the credibility of Krauck’s proposed investment in the logistics hub.

However, in its same statement, the OPM says that an arm of the government could continue to negotiating with Krauck.

The OPM said Cabinet has accepted a recommendation from Professor Gordon Shirley’s NLIC that negotiations with Krauck should not proceed at this time.

But the OPM says Cabinet has told Industry Minister, Anthony Hylton that his Ministry is at liberty to continue engaging Krauck in discussions, if it so wishes.

Prime Minister Simpson Miller’s office says NLIC has informed Cabinet that insufficient due diligence information has been presented by Krauck.

On that basis, NLIC has recommended that negotiations between Jamaica and Krauck should NOT proceed at this time.

According to the OPM, Cabinet has accepted that recommendation.

But in a curious development, Cabinet says personnel from the Industry Ministry, who are members of NLIC, were of a different view on findings of the due diligence process.

According to the OPM, Industry Ministry personnel are of the view that more weight should have been given to various banking documents supplied by Krauck.

The OPM says on that basis, Cabinet has given permission to the Industry Ministry, to if it so wishes, continue to engage Krauck in discussions.

This in order to see whether additional, credible due diligence information is forthcoming.

In April, Minister Hylton told the country that the Krauck Group and Anchor Finance are interested in investing US billion dollars in Jamaica’s logistics hub.

No mention of Anchor Finance was made in the OPM’s statement today.

Minister Hylton had also said he’s confident the investment will materialize and it would be transformational.

Our sources say some members of Cabinet are angry at the Industry Minister and are accusing him of being an embarrassment.

A source in the Simpson Miller administration told our news centre today that figuratively speaking, it appears Tony Hylton is insistent on being given latitude to hang himself, hence it’s being given to him.