JIS News

The Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Planning on (June 4) opened a regional workshop on external debt analysis using management tools in the Commonwealth Secretariat Debt reporting and Management System Application (CS-DRMS 2000+).
The workshop is being held from June 4 to 12 at the Bank of Jamaica in downtown, Kingston. Addressing the opening ceremony, Financial Secretary, Colin Bullock explained that the application has become one of the most powerful reporting and analytical tools and has helped to ensure that “the proceeds of loans and grants do what they are supposed to do.”
“That is to transform financial flows into real development needs and to prevent the portfolio from becoming unsustainable within the limits of factors they can control directly,” he said.
Mr. Bullock further explained that the application assists countries to record, manage, and analyse their debt on a comprehensive basis and provides a central repository for several categories of public and privately secured external and domestic debt.
“It is expected that with continued development of CS-DRMS 2000+ as well as the extension of its use by debt offices, in the future more resources can be diverted to attend to the country’s specific requirements on providing support in debt management policies and practices,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Financial Secretary also expressed concern that the Caribbean region has a concentration of the most highly indebted countries in the world. He pointed out that successful monetary policy, low inflation, and economic growth could not be sustained in any country unless its debt burden is significantly reduced.
“The servicing of debt pre-empts resources in fiscal policy and it creates a conundrum where to get out of debt one has to eliminate fiscal deficits, but imperative to eliminate fiscal deficits in the short run implies that a government has fewer resources to deal with essential issues in health, education and security,” stated Mr. Bullock.
He added that the servicing of debts consumed resources, which could otherwise go to essential public sector investment in infrastructure and education, thereby weakening a country’s prospect for economic growth.
“Apart from managing the accumulation of debt itself countries need to grow out of debt,” Mr. Bullock stated.

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