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  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has indicated that the focus this financial year is on adopting strategies geared towards achieving the primary surplus target of seven per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • The Minister said the Government’s priority objectives for the 2016/17 fiscal year, and through the medium term are to grow the economy and create meaningful jobs, to facilitate faster and sustainable debt reduction.
  • He further said the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, as well as the establishment of a new Economic Growth Council and the appointment of Economic Growth Ambassadors, is the first step towards fulfilling that objective.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has indicated that the focus this financial year is on adopting strategies geared towards achieving the primary surplus target of seven per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said the figure represents the operational instrument being utilised to attain a Public Debt/GDP ratio of 96 per cent by the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

The Minister was opening the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (May 12), under the theme: ‘Partnership for Economic Growth’.

He said the Government’s medium term fiscal and debt profiles have been developed in accordance with the quantitative targets under the Extended Fund Facility of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Macroeconomic Framework and incorporates the revenue and expenditure measures being implemented in the 2016/17 Budget.

Mr. Shaw said the 2016/17 Budget is based on key macroeconomic assumptions, specifically: real GDP growth of 1.8 per cent, up from 0.8 per cent in 2015/16; inflation rate of 5.5 per cent; oil price averaging US$36.90 per barrel; and core imports increasing by 1.8 per cent relative to estimates for 2015/16.

The Minister said the Government’s priority objectives for the 2016/17 fiscal year, and through the medium term are to grow the economy and create meaningful jobs, to facilitate faster and sustainable debt reduction.

“The Government has embarked on a concerted programme to boost growth while holding firm to the path of fiscal prudence, debt reduction and macroeconomic stability,” he explained.

He further said the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, as well as the establishment of a new Economic Growth Council and the appointment of Economic Growth Ambassadors, is the first step towards fulfilling that objective.