Letters to the Editor

A depressing, bureaucratic state of affairs

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has been promoting its Vision 2030 plan in which it hopes to achieve First World country status to make Jamaica the place to live, raise families, work, do business, and invest. However, there are several elements inimical to making this very ambitious goal a reality.

Firstly, we must significantly reduce and effectively control the lawlessness, public disorder and rampant criminality. It is incumbent on our premier law enforcement authority, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to demonstrate its capability of catching the criminals and securing their convictions. This would thereby engender trust and confidence in the JCF and, by extension, the GOJ, from the citizenry.

In our existing state of affairs, our safety and security have been severely compromised, and it has virtually become a luxury that many of us cannot afford. We are left at the mercy of criminals.

No one wishes to live, let alone raise their families and put them at risk, in a country where criminals have free rein, wreak havoc, and constantly drive fear in the people.

Secondly, it is a mammoth task to do business in Jamaica, particularly for young entrepreneurs. There are many of us who would like to start businesses and create employment opportunities for others, thereby contributing to the economy and becoming a part of the tax net. The bureaucracy that exists, however, makes it extremely challenging in many cases to start a business, which oftentimes leaves us discouraged and depressed.

In Jamaica, it is easier to obtain a loan to purchase a motor vehicle than to obtain one for starting a business which could contribute to economic growth and development. The financial institutions seldom take risks in giving ambitious people a push-start to becoming productive members of the society. Investments contribute to economic growth, but our current situation does not augur well for growth and development.

If we are serious about exponential growth and development, then we should begin by reducing and/or eliminating the bureaucracy and making transactions and business start-ups a seamless process. After all, entrepreneurs are investors too, and investments we desperately need.

In attaining First World country status we must address the issues that remain a source of deep frustration for us. Undoubtedly, there are many low-hanging fruits which, if attended to, may fix a lot of the issues we are now contending with. So, let's work on them.

We would like to make Vision 2030 a reality, but the depressing, bureaucratic state of affairs must be tackled head-on before that could ever happen.

Dujon Russell





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