JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, is to address the nation on Wednesday (January 13), on the details of the Letter of Intent which should form the basis for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In a release today, Jamaica House said that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have signed off on the details of the programme included in the Letter of Intent, which is expected to be signed between both parties very soon.
This development follows a four-day Cabinet retreat at Jamaica House in Kingston, which ended Sunday, after looking at the role and structure of Government, ways of improving efficiency in the public sector as well as attracting medium term investments to boost the economy following the economic crisis and crime.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon Daryl Vaz had indicated that matters which would be high on the agenda for the retreat would include Government’s medium term economic programme, the 2010-11 budget, the Sector Transformation Programme and the legislative agenda.
Mr. Vaz predicted last week-end that the Government would emerge from the meeting ready to inform the country about the provisions of the Letter of Intent, as well as to discuss them in Parliament.
The Minister indicated that there is a broad area of agreement between the Government and the IMF, and that the Government is very clear about what is necessary to save the economy. He also confirmed that crime was among the issues discussed, and that new developments would take place.
On Monday (January 11), Jamaica House reported that in addition to addressing the nation in a national broadcast on Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced that a debate on the IMF programme and other economic programmes will take place in Parliament next week Tuesday (January 19).
“Mr. Golding said that during the course of this week, the Government will continue to engage in a series of consultations with the Opposition and key stakeholders, the trade unions, private sector leaders and groups, media owners and senior editors,” the report said.
“Meetings have already been held with representatives of the financial sector, to discuss the proposed debt exchange transaction and other aspects of the IMF programme,” it added.
A Letter of Intent is a document outlining an agreement between two or more parties, before the agreement is finalised. The concept is similar to a Heads of Agreement.
Jamaica is seeking a standby facility of US$1.2 billion from the IMF to reduce the effect of huge losses in income from bauxite/alumina exports and reductions in remittances on its balance of payment position, as well as to facilitate improvements in revenues and investments.

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