JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding says that in addition to a stand-by arrangement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is giving consideration to providing support for the country’s budget.
“It appears as if they are on the verge of taking a decision and it is possible that Jamaica may get some assistance. If that comes, it will go into the budget and help the situation,” the Prime Minister said.
Speaking at the seventh Town Hall Meeting, held in May Pen, Clarendon, on September 23, the Prime Minister explained that this move by the IMF is infrequent as “…they have never lent money for your budget but for your balance of payments”.
He said that the country’s situation is not so bad, because six weeks ago it received US$300 million of entitlement money, which was deposited in the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ).
In addition, Mr. Golding said that, “some disbursements we got from the European Union went into the BOJ, so that our reserves which had fallen to about $1.6 billion are now back up to 1.9, almost two billion; and that is comfortable. We will draw that money as we need it to meet external payments. It will not be available to help fix roads,” Mr. Golding said.
He said that this support would help to keep the exchange rate stable and inflation down, but the government is still faced with the problem of taxes not being sufficient to meet the country’s expenses.
The Town Hall meeting was supported by Transport Minister, Hon. Mike Henry; Health Minister, Hon. Ruddy Spencer; Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles; Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. James Robertson and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Chris Tufton, Junior Ministers, Members of Parliament and Parish Council representatives.

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