Cabinet has taken a decision to extend the waiver of import duties on a ‘wide range of building material,’ Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced.
The extension will last until June and could be extended further an assessment, he said on state-owned DBS Radio on Friday morning.
“The Cabinet took a decision on Tuesday to extend the period for the setting aside of the import duties,” the Prime Minister said. “So we have extended the waiver on import duties to June on a wide range of building material.”
In November last year, the government announced that it was waiving import duties on a number of items due to the passage of Hurricane Maria. The waiver was for six months in the first instance.
Skerrit gave the rationale for extending the waiver.
“We recognize that in many instances some insurance companies would have been slow or delayed in making payments to some of the clients,” he stated. “So a number of people are now receiving their checks and we felt it was necessary to give them an opportunity to benefit from the waiver of import duty.”
He said the same goes for the private sector which rebuilding businesses after the hurricane.
“We felt that it would be good to extend the import duties to allow them to bring material at a reduced rate,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that the move means loss of revenue for the treasury “but we believe that in the circumstances it is the right decision.”
The extension means that the waiver will be for a total of nine and it could be extended.
“We will assess it when we get to June to see whether there is a need to have it extended further,” Skerrit remarked.