Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton says the fact that Jamaica has missed the International Monetary Fund, IMF, deadline for passage of the insolvency bill into law, should NOT negatively affect the country’s extended fund facility agreement with the multilateral.

The deadline for passage of the Insolvency Act 2014 was September 30.

However, parliament began debate on the bill today.

The draft legislation is aimed at repealing the bankruptcy act and providing an opportunity for insolvent debtors to be rehabilitated.

Responding this afternoon to questions from West Portland MP Daryl Vaz, Minister Hylton commented that the IMF has shown flexibility despite the September 30 deadline for passage of the bill not being met.

Minister Hylton also told parliament that the bill is aimed at consolidating the law related to insolvency and receivership, while giving provisional supervision for persons facing bankruptcy.

He noted that the insolvency bill follows a recommendation by a review committee last year which emphasized the need for creating an enabling legal and regulatory environment for the implementation of insolvency laws.

Contributing to the debate, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, said the most significant aspect of the bill is that it’ll give business persons an opportunity to rehabilitate their affairs before being confronted with bankruptcy.

Mr. Shaw described the insolvency bill as timely.

He noted that had the bill been in existence during the 1990’s financial sector meltdown, many more Jamaicans would have been better off today.

But, Mr. Shaw expressed concern that the bill, in its current form, makes no provisions for the protection of home owners.