News article

TURKS AND CAICOS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT

His Excellency the Governor, Peter Beckingham, chaired the 21st meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday, 5th August 2015 at the Hon. Hilly Ewing Building in Providenciales.

All Ministers were present except the Hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning and the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Agreed to issue an RFP for the scrapping and removal of the Mega-One Triton vessel from Governor’s Beach in Grand Turk;

  • Advised His Excellency the Governor to approve in principle the draft TCI Gaming Policy to allow the necessary consultation to be conducted between August 15 - September 1, 2015 with the policy to be returned to Cabinet along with the consultation findings for ratification no later than October 15, 2015; and to grant approval for the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Culture and Heritage to commence legislation works with the Attorney General’s Chambers with regards to the Gaming Ordinance and Regulations in line with the proposed draft policy;

  • Approved an increase in budgeted funds in the amount of $30,000 from the Carnival Infrastructure Fund, subject to Carnival’s approval, to facilitate the implementation of the consultancy to provide design and technical documentation suitable to tender for the reconstruction and upgrading of Lighthouse Road in Grand Turk;

  • Agreed the recommendations for the relevant Government Departments to complete an analysis of the proposals for an FBO in Grand Turk and for the Investment Unit to complete due diligence and issue a full paper to Cabinet;

  • Advised His Excellency the Governor to make regulations, the effect of which would waive the fees for a Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate and a TCI Status Card for the period commencing August 15th ending December 1, 2015 for persons who are eligible to register to vote but who do not appear on a current voters list, making application to be registered as an elector under the Elections Laws.

  • Agreed the Immigration (Amendment) Bill and approved it being transmitted to the House of Assembly for its consideration. The effect of this Bill is to amend the definition of “gainful occupation” and to make provision for the foreign spouses of TCI Status-holders to continue to work in the Islands in circumstances where they are no longer living together with their spouse because said spouse have treated them cruelly, causing them hardships;

  • Agreed to reduce the Duty Free Royalty (DFR) rate for non-alcohol and non-tobacco goods from 10% to 4.5% from November 1, 2015 to bring it in line with competing jurisdictions. Cabinet will review the impacts of these reductions on an on-going basis;

  • Agreed the appointment of Dr. Stephen Francois Bourne and The Rev. Dr Conrad Howell to the National Health Insurance Board (NHIB) in accordance with Sections 16 (1) j and 16 (1) of the National Health Insurance Ordinance;

  • Considered and approved the nominations for the National Honours and Awards Recipients 2015 and agreed for the list to be published in the Gazette in accordance with the National Honours and Awards Ordinance;

  • Advised His Excellency the Governor to approve the transmission of the Immigration Bill and the TCI Status Bill for consideration in the House of Assembly and for the Ministry to undertake a period of consultation on the Bills after first reading in the House of Assembly;

  • Approved the proposed measure to legalise Hawaiian Slings for holders of Commercial Fishing Licenses and for this measure to be incorporated into the 2015 Amendments of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance;

  • Considered the recommendations coming out of consultations on amendments to the Fisheries Protection Ordinance and agreed to the amendments to the Regulations to reflect the views which were largely submitted by the fishing community throughout the islands;

  • Agreed to amend the policy which prohibited the grant of work permits to persons changing employers, to provide for the grant of work permits in these cases where the Immigration Board is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exists for the grant or the applicant meets certain other criteria as the Minister might develop, which shall include the release from the previous employer. This policy extends to public sector, statutory bodies and private sector employees;

  • Noted concerns regarding the level of customer service at the Ministry of Border Control and Employment’s One Stop Shop and the time delays in completing transactions as well as the Ministry’s plans for restructuring that Unit and its commitment to turning around its service deliverables. Cabinet supported the request for additional funding for the improvement of service delivery and increased resources;

  • Received a presentation from Professor Gilbert Morris on behalf of the Canadian Working Group on the success of the TCI mission to Canada in May 2015;

  • Approved the Tobacco Control Bill to advance to the House of Assembly;

  • Advised His Excellency the Governor to approve the following Bills for advancement to the House of Assembly:

Investment Dealers (Licensing) (Amendment) Bill 2015

Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill 2015

Mutual Funds (Amendment) Bill 2015

Domestic Insurance Bill 2015

Companies (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Companies (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations Schedule II - Paragraph 5

Company Management (Licensing) (Amendment) Bill 2015

Companies Amendment Bill 2015

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.