The Professor Gordon Shirley-led National Logistics Council, NLIC, has advised Cabinet that it has serious concerns about Industry Minister, Anthony Hylton’s, proposed 5-billion-US-dollar investments in the logistics hub initiative.
The NLIC has also dealt a severe and embarrassing blow to Hylton’s much touted investment saying it has questions about the fit and proper status of the two companies – Krauck and Anchor Finance – to do business with the Government of Jamaica.
And Nationwide News understands that Minister Hylton, is coming under pressure from forces in the Simpson Miller Cabinet for embarrassing the government.
The report from the NLIC was discussed at Cabinet on Monday.
Abka Fitz-Henley has more in this report:
In a four sentence statement this afternoon, Hylton’s Ministry for the first time conceded that there are significant concerns regarding the viability of what he’d said was Krauck and Anchor’s planned US 5-billion dollar investment.
Hylton’s Ministry said the report from Professor Shirley raised significant concerns on matters that require further clarity from Krauck and Anchor.
The Ministry said representatives of the companies will arrive in Jamaica in the next two days to answer questions regarding their ability to execute the multi-billion dollar investment.
The news release said Krauck and Anchor will also respond to concerns regarding their fit and proper status to do business in Jamaica.
That clause in one of the four sentences is damaging to the Investment Minister who has been touting the credentials of both companies.
Nationwide News sources say several senior Ministers are angry at Minister Hylton for his poor handing of the Krauck/Anchor issue.
It’s understood that at Monday’s meeting of Cabinet, Hylton was accused of embarrassing the Government of Jamaica.
Our sources say Hylton also came under fire from Water Minister and PNP Chairman, Robert Pickersgill.
According to our sources, Minister Pickersgill referred to the assessment done and questioned whether Jamaica should be engaging Krauck and Anchor.
Contacted this afternoon, the Water Minister declined comment on what transpired at Cabinet.
In April, Minister Hylton expressed strong confidence in the investment materializing despite a damning financial assessment from the credit ratings firm, Dunn and Bradstreet.
Some members of the Simpson Miller cabinet are also accusing the Industry Minister of dragging Transport Minister Dr. Omar Davies into what has turned out to be the Krauck/Anchor embarrassment.
Dr. Davies and Hylton had signed an MoU with Krauck and Anchor.
A joint statement which indicated that the MoU only affirmed the right of the Government to ask questions was then issued.
The statement this afternoon was issued minutes after Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw warned Minister Hylton that his handling of the Krauck/Anchor issue will see him embarrassed in Parliament. Mr. Shaw was addressing the House of Representatives.