“Certainly, I am hoping for the first half of the next financial year that the Microcredit Act will be tabled and debated,” he said.
Dr. Clarke was speaking at the Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon meeting held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on October 4.
He noted that “we are in very advanced stages of that Act. It has been through review a few times by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and the office of the Attorney General”.
When passed, the Bill will, among other things, assist in the registration of microlending companies, which provide financing to the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.
It will also allow the entities to be licensed, while also providing measures for the protection of consumers.
The Bill will also enable greater participation of the MSME sector in government contracts.
Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke said that the Government is seeking to encourage greater competition within the economy.
“The policy of this Government is a policy that is going to encourage competition, encourage private-sector representatives to compete against each other and for local companies to compete against regional and international companies,” he said.
“As we foster a competitive environment where companies in search for markets, in search for your purchasing dollar, compete among themselves, the natural result is that prices will respond,” he pointed out.
Dr. Clarke argued that within a competitive market, businesses will not be able to just “jack up prices, because competition means that if you do that, you can lose your business to the competitor”.
“The economy that is emerging is one that is going to be built on competition and one that is going to require every fibre of your being to think about how you are going to compete and how you are going to be better than the other company,” the Finance Minister added.
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