Duty reduction to ramp up construction sector

Duty reduction to ramp up construction sector
Leonard Sands, former president of the Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA).

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government’s decision to reduce duty on all building materials will spur increased purchases with local building supply stores and increased activity in the construction sector, according to a former Bahamas Contractors Association (BCA) president who has lauded the move.

Leonard Sands welcomed the government’s plan to reduce duty on all building materials to spur construction jobs and mobilize domestic capital.

“Persons are mindful that we are approaching another hurricane season,” said Sands, noting clear market demand.

‘There are lines at lumber stores everywhere across New Providence. Homeowners are making the necessary preparations and repairs. I think the 20 percent duty on construction materials will help once more activity starts to shake loose. Construction is one of those industries where millions of dollars is spent and any type of savings is going to generate additional activity.”

He added: “I think it’s a good mood and applaud the move. I think we will see increased activity because of it. That’s a real big number when you talk about the duty being dropped 20 percent. There is going to be a lot of buying and a lot of activity as a result of the buying. I think it will be modest for the first two months and pick up after that.”

With the start of the hurricane season just weeks away, Sands noted that government has to look at the recovery strategy for hurricanes going forward.

“Right now I think we are in a vulnerable place,” he said.

“The government has to have a national strategy for how to put in place structures or mechanisms that provide shelter in the event of a hurricane like Dorian. We cannot do what we did before. We need a national approach regarding hurricane shelters through this archipelago.”