A total of 381 motorists who were adversely affected by the bad gas incident in 2015, are slated to receive an ex-gratia payment.
Petrojam Ethanol Limited (PEL) has paid over J$24.5 million to the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) for disbursement to consumers who were affected. Only persons who would have submitted claims that were approved by the Technical Committee convened by the CAC will receive this one-off payment.
The ex-gratia payment is a sign of good faith by the Government to affected motorists, as neither the Government nor the PEL is liable for the incident.
State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Floyd Green has welcomed the payment.
“The process has taken five years. It has been a significant journey. In fact, the CAC had to put in a lot of work to bring the process to a closure. This payout will certainly bring closure to this matter and will be seen as the Government making good on its efforts to ensure compensation for the motorists who were adversely affected. This says consumers, your rights are valid and they can and will be acted upon. I say to you, make your reports,” Minister Green said.
He was speaking at virtual pressing briefing hosted by the Consumer Affairs Commission at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on May 22.
Minister Green commended the work of the CAC and, in particular, their relentless efforts to ensure that aggrieved consumers were given some reprieve. He added that the Ministry is looking to strengthen the CAC, and have been expanding ways in which consumers can have access to the agency, making it easier for reports to be made.
He informed that during the last Financial Year, the Commission secured $24.5 million on behalf of aggrieved consumers. Over the past 3 years, they secured $72.4 million, an average of 85% resolution each year.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the CAC, Dolsie Allen, informed that of the 423 claims received only 381 will receive disbursement – 287 motorists will receive full disbursement and 94 claims will be partially disbursed.
She further informed that calls to motorists advising them of the status of their claims have already begun. The CEO advised that motorists for whom the ex-gratia payment has been approved will be given an appointment outlining the date and time to visit the Commission in order to:
• Sign the release and discharge document
• Provide a government ID for verification,
• And to complete a form with their banking information
The funds will be disbursed electronically within two weeks once the documents have been signed.
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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
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