JIS News

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says Jamaica has managed to maintain substantial net international reserves (NIR) and a positive sovereign debt rating, despite being impacted by the worst global economic crisis in 100 years, largely sparked by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He said the NIR totalled just over US$3 billion, despite the fallout in foreign exchange earnings, while Standard & Poor’s recently reaffirmed Jamaica’s B+ sovereign debt rating.

“This [debt rating] reflects confidence in the economy and Government’s economic policy direction within the context of the pandemic,” the Governor-General said.

He was delivering the Throne Speech during the 2021/22 Ceremonial Opening of Parliament at Gordon House, on Thursday (February 18), under the theme ‘Building Forward… Stronger Together’.

Meanwhile, the Governor-General said the Government is continuing its drive to make the payment of taxes and fees more efficient by increasing online options.

He pointed out that at the start of 2021, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) commenced the pilot phase of the Direct Funds Transfer Project.

This, the Governor-General explained, will facilitate immediate updating of customers’ records and the convenience of printing an official receipt, rather than having to retrieve it from a tax office.

“In addition, TAJ launched its Mobile App for payment of motor vehicle fitness fees, traffic tickets, property tax and queries,” he further said.

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