$50M for Independence celebrations

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Members of parliament are engaged in a discussion during yesterday's sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament at Gordon House. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange, said yesterday that the
stage is set for a rich 50th anniversary national celebrations with a
$50-million injection from the national budget.
Jamaica won its Independence from Britain on August 6, 1962.
The stated aim of the Independence celebrations are, among other things, to
strengthen and enhance the cultural identity of the Jamaican people, and provide
spaces for reflection and meditation on the achievements, struggles, challenges
and aspiration of Jamaicans.
The ministry is also seeking to create opportunities for economic advancement
through the planning and implementation of trade fairs, market penetration
activities, expositions and festivals.
"You will notice that we have an allocation and that is to get us started, we
are setting up a secretariat within the ministry," Grange said in reference to
the $50 million.
She said a core staff will be employed, but the plan is to rely heavily on
volunteers from the culture movement across the island.
"We haven't officially launched the committee as yet, but that it is broken up
into sector groups dealing with special through to legacy projects," said
Grange said all members of parliament will be encouraged to set aside funds from
their allocations from Constituency Development Fund for the celebrations.
The anniversary celebrations coincide with that of the general election year,
due in 2012.
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