JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon Audley Shaw, has given assurances that most cash advances from the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) will be repaid by the end of the fiscal year in March.
Since November, the Ministry of Finance has received over $23 billion from the Central Bank, of which $18 billion was used to purchase Government bonds.
Speaking at the Government’s Post Cabinet briefing at Jamaica House in Kingston on Wednesday (January 6), Mr. Shaw stressed that the accommodation was temporary in order to carry the country through the period of the adjustment.
“Indeed the $18 billion that the Bank provided in December was by way of purchasing tradable instruments from the Government so that, at the appropriate time, those tradable instruments will be sold into the capital markets. So it is not intended to be a long- term debt that is on the books of the Bank of Jamaica,” he clarified.
Mr. Shaw added that the Government may need to borrow more money from the BoJ this month, when its debt management initiative is implemented. However, he said that the Government’s debt management initiative, as well as inflows from the IMF agreement, should put the Government in a good position to settle all its obligations with the BoJ by September.
He also explained that the debt management initiative is part of the Government’s efforts to curtail its borrowing and reduce interest rates.
“It is an open secret that the country cannot survive on high interest rates when the rest of the world is at low single-digit interest rates. It just can’t work, it’s unsustainable,” Mr. Shaw reiterated.

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