Senate Passes SEZ Bill, Deleting Controversial CARICOM Job Clause


The Senate today passed the Special Economic Zone Bill, but not before deleting a controversial clause that placed CARICOM nationals on equal footing with Jamaicans for employment opportunities.

The Bill was passed with 14 other amendments.

Opposition MPs had vowed to take court action to remove the controversial clause that would give preferential treatment to CARICOM nationals seeking employment in the Special Economic Zones, SEZ.

Industry Minister Anthony Hylton had piloted the bill in the lower house.

He defended the clause, saying Jamaica had a duty under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to have CARICOM nationals and Jamaicans on the same level in the legislation.

But the Justice Minister, Mark Golding today told the Senate that the clause was unnecessary.

Opposition Senator Kavan Gayle, welcomed the removal of the clause.

Government Senator Norman Grant praised the removal of the offending clause.

He said the Bill was a Christmas present for the country.

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