The private sector is hoping that implementation of its proposals for stimulating the sector can begin by the end of June.
This is the essence of what came out of a meeting earlier this week between the Antigua & Barbuda Contractors’ Association, Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell and other officials of the Ministry.
Secretary of the association Nick Hadeed said the minister told the contractors that while he supports their proposals to reduce the cost of construction, he needs to discuss them further with key stakeholders, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Bar Association, the Bankers Association, insurers, building suppliers, and agencies for the plan to succeed.
The contractors’ association believe that the local economy will get a significant boost if construction activity in housing and other building projects is restarted.
They have been urging government since last year to put in place a stimulus package of concessions and incentives that would encourage construction.
“The minister basically said that he would love to see the plan put in effect by the end of June this year. He wants to go back to the Chamber of Commerce to discuss it with a broader audience because they still need different sectors to buy into it,” Hadeed said.
According to Hadeed, the plan is conceived for application over a limited time, between 12 and 18 months, and it also proposes a reduction in transfer taxes from the current 10 per cent to 5 or 7 per cent.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)