JIS News

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  • The Government has mandated a Cabinet sub-committee to identify and remove impediments to growth projects, as well as pinpoint general economic measures to be undertaken.
  • Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, made the announcement at a post-Cabinet Retreat press briefing on Wednesday, September 17, at Jamaica House.
  • The establishment of the committee comes against the background of Government having identified areas of investment and expansion.

The Government has mandated a Cabinet sub-committee to identify and remove impediments to growth projects, as well as pinpoint general economic measures to be undertaken, in order to enhance Gross Domestic Product (GDP) levels.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, made the announcement at a post-Cabinet Retreat press briefing on Wednesday, September 17, at Jamaica House.

The establishment of the committee comes against the background of Government having identified areas of investment and expansion, which could propel the country’s GDP growth up to three per cent, from the targeted rate of between 1.5 per cent to two per cent.

The ministerial committee’s work will be supported by a technical sub-committee, with a technical secretariat to be staffed and housed within the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).
Meanwhile, Cabinet also finalised an action plan for public sector transformation.

It focuses on further improving the ease of doing business, as well as enhancing efficiency through the effective management of government resources. This involves reforms to human resource management systems; shared corporate services; and privatisation and, or outsourcing of some government services.

“This plan is a continuously updated plan,” Minister Phillips said, noting that as tasks get completed, “new priority tasks will be incorporated, as we continue to implement (the plan) over the course of the next three or more years.”

He indicated that part of the resources from the recently signed US$105 million loan agreement with the World Bank, will be committed to the transformation process.

The funds will be used to strengthen public investment management systems, budget preparation, and property tax compliance administration.

“We expect to get underway, very rapidly, with further strengthening of the process of public sector reform and transformation,” he said.
Turning to the process of economic reform, Dr. Phillips said the foundations of the economy have been strengthened by way of improvements in the Net International Reserves (NIR), the return to growth, and decline in unemployment.

He said significant gains have also been made on the social side, with improvements in education and health, and reduction in major crimes.

He reminded, however, that the country is still in the very early stages of the reform process, and the gains that have been made must be protected.

“We need to…ensure that we can secure even greater advances, particularly with respect to economic growth and job creation,” he said.
Dr. Phillips noted that the Government remains mindful of the sacrifices that have been made by the Jamaican people as the reforms continue.

Cabinet went into retreat on September 15 and September 16, to discuss, among other things, the Government’s growth strategy, the energy sector, fiscal policy, and the budget calendar for the upcoming fiscal year.