JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, said that the Government’s economic policies have the objective of growing the economy out of debt and positioning the country on a path to sustained development.
The Minister was speaking to a nine-member delegation from Tanzania, including Minister of Energy and Minerals, William Ngeleja, today (Jan. 21) at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle office in Kingston.
The visit by the Tanzanians is part of a four-day study tour, which is designed to provide an interactive exchange between the Tanzanian policy makers and their Jamaican counterparts on matters relating to Jamaica’s financial and economic policy framework. According to Mr. Ngeleja, the team will be looking at monetary and fiscal policies, strategies for resource allocation for public services, effective trade and investment promotions, financing public/private sector partnerships in the water and energy sectors, and achieving sustainable economic development.
Minister Shaw explained that the current administration was still in transition having been in office for just 15 months, following more than 18 years in opposition. He noted that the country was grappling with a huge debt burden, high energy costs and other critical social concerns.
“To address these issues, the Government is implementing a number of monetary and fiscal policies aimed at generating economic growth and development, while reducing the unsustainable dependence on loan financing,” he informed.
The measures being undertaken, he said, include the “replacement of high cost institutional debt with less costly multilateral loans, public sector reforms to achieve efficiency and greater levels of productivity, tax administration reforms including the rationalization of income taxes, customs reforms and in general, the modernization of the public sector. We have also expanded the PATH Programme, which is a social safety net for the poor”.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Dr. Wayne Robinson in his presentation, observed that the mission of the Bank is to formulate and implement monetary and regulatory policies to safeguard the value of the domestic currency, and to ensure the soundness and development of the financial system.
In tracking Jamaica’s economic development programme, Leila Palmer of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, noted that the country’s programme was being guided by a 15-year, National Industrial Policy, which was developed in 1996, and is subject to quarterly reviews and adjustments.
The draft of the successor policy document ‘Vision2030’ has been approved by Cabinet and will be tabled in Parliament during the coming financial year, which begins April 1, 2009. The objective of the new policy is to enable Jamaica to achieve developed status by 2030.
The Tanzanian delegation is expected to meet with Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang; and Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, before departing the island on Friday (Jan. 23) for Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.