A new Electricity Act and amendments to the Income Tax Act will soon be discussed in Parliament.

News of this has come from Industry Minister, Donville Inniss, as he toured the Lower Estate, St. Michael-based Caribbean LED Lighting (CLL) Inc. last Friday morning. The company specialises in providing Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting alternatives to conventional lighting.

Mr. Inniss disclosed that the new Electricity Act would address some of the back court issues in terms of renewable energy, the Barbados Light and Power and the Fair Trading Commission, while amendments to the Income Tax Act would examine alternative energy and thus set the platform for the development of an industry which includes the provision of energy efficient items.

During talks with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CLL Inc., Jim Reid, the Minister said it was important that the country reduces its dependency on fossil fuel and get the energy bill down, while adding that ???Government was keen to encourage and facilitate the expansion of the reuse of more cost efficient energy items in households and businesses and lighting remained one of the major items???.???

He said: ???So, for us it???s not just a matter of saying provide energy via solar or wind or whatever, but at the end of the day even with those sources of energy available, if you don???t strive to be more efficient by using more energy efficient components in your business or households, then, we really will not be making the strides we wish to make at the national level??? So, the Income Tax Act should address some of these incentives for businesses.???

Mr. Inniss also indicated that he was aware of the ???many??? challenges faced by business persons when it came to bringing their products through the Customs and Excise Department. He told the CEO that ???we certainly will do all in our power, in our office to address the issues you and others may have in relation to the Customs [and Excise Department] here in Barbados???I think that there may have to be a need to bring clarity as to what items ought to be allowed in free of duty to this industry???.???

He further noted that laws could not include everything and he recognised that there needed to be some level of education that has to take place with the Customs and Excise Department.

??????When items arrive in the island, your company and any other company involved in Industry, there is no doubt as to the fact that it is a component part in the need for a bigger activity or item and, therefore, you are not treated as someone who is just going to install in their house???I always feel that Customs [Officers] sometimes should come out to businesses or enterprises and see what is happening???They can???t sit in isolation at their port of entry and make decisions,??? the Minister underscored.


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