JIS News

The Government is expressing optimism that the Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will make a decision on Jamaica’s application for balance of payment support, by the end of October.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, told journalists at today’s (August 26) post Cabinet press briefing, at Jamaica House, that discussions with the IMF are on schedule and a team from the Fund should arrive in the island by about September 8.
Mr. Shaw gave an assurance that the Letter of Intent to access a US$1.2 billion loan from the multilateral institution should be ready by the following week. A medium-term programme, outlining the country’s fiscal targets and measures to achieve these targets, is also being prepared to accompany the Letter.
The Minister once again explained the need for the loan from the IMF. “Without an IMF agreement and without access to the balance of payment support, our Net International Reserves (NIR) could deplete to as much as $800 million, which could put you down to about six weeks of imports, which is not considered ideal,” he said.
The Government is also anticipating receiving a US$320 million liquidity grant from the IMF by mid-September. This facility represents a non-refundable allocation as an entitlement to deserving countries in good standing.

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