National Policy Office to Be Established

Photo: Mark Bell rime Minister the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness makes his contribution to the 2016/17 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on May 24. At left is the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that a National Policy Office will be established, which will drive the Government’s economic growth strategy.
  • The Prime Minister was making his contribution to the 2016/2017 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 24).
  • Mr. Holness told the House that the Government’s “laser-like focus” on growth is in order to reduce the country’s debt.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that a National Policy Office will be established, which will drive the Government’s economic growth strategy.

            He said the office will augment the work of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and will be staffed by technically knowledgeable managers drawn from the existing agencies and departments under the Ministry.

            “They will act as the coordinating nucleus for policy development and implementation, reporting directly to the Prime Minister. They will also act as the anchoring secretariat of the work of the Economic Growth Council,” he informed.

            The Prime Minister was making his contribution to the 2016/2017 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 24).

            The Economic Growth Council, chaired by businessman Michael Lee-Chin, is charged with advising the Government on the adoption of a framework for growth, to monitor and report on the progress of implementation, and attract investments to Jamaica to spur economic expansion.

            The Prime Minister said the growth council has worked in other countries, and the World Bank will support for the initiative, by providing consultative and technical resources from other countries that have successfully transitioned from stability to growth.

            Mr. Holness told the House that the Government’s “laser-like focus” on growth is in order to reduce the country’s debt.

            He informed that discussions have commenced with the World Bank on debt swap initiatives. He said that the move will require the country to adopt and agree to policy measures to reduce vulnerability to the hazardous effects of climate change.

            The Prime Minister noted that while the size of the reduction under the initiatives may initially be small relative to the stock of debt, progress in this area will send a strong message that the country is serious about debt reduction.

            Mr. Holness said that Jamaica continues to work with its international partners on a Debt for Assets initiative, which will package appropriate assets that will be used to retire outstanding public debt by way of a swap.

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