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Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has affirmed the Government’s intention to have a new agreement in place with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of this year.

He was responding to comments made in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 31), by Opposition Member of Parliament, Karl Samuda, who stated that a new IMF agreement will not be in place until 2013.

Dr. Phillips stated that there is no basis for the assertion “that we are looking to conclude a programme into the next calendar year.  It is not so, and we certainly have indicated otherwise to this House,” Dr. Phillips said during Tuesday’s (July 31) sitting of the House of Representatives.

He stated further that the negotiating team from the IMF will be in the island in September, and the Ministry is working on a presentation to be made to the IMF Board before the end of December.

Mr. Samuda was speaking during a debate on a motion to amend the Standing Orders so that the Tax Measures Committee of Parliament would, in February of each year: receive a report from the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee(PAAC) as to the revenue-raising requirement for the ensuing fiscal year; hold such hearings as may be necessary, including canvassing views of members of the public, and submit a report to the whole House, no later than the 1st day of March of each year, for consideration of the whole House.