- Jamaica qualifies for a second drawdown of US$30.6 million under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
- The Fund Staff acknowledged the Government of Jamaica’s “financial discipline” and “steadfast implementation of the initial reforms.”
- The overall performance followed the country’s successful completion of its own programme targets in March.
Jamaica has passed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) first quarterly review, thereby qualifying for a second drawdown of US$30.6 million under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
The IMF’s Executive Board approved the review on September 30, thus paving the way for the receipt of support from other multilateral development partners, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank, towards the end of this year.
This was disclosed by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, in a Statement to the House of Representatives on October 1.
He said the Fund Staff in their Report to the Board on Jamaica’s economic performance, acknowledged the Government of Jamaica’s “financial discipline” and “steadfast implementation of the initial reforms.”
“Despite major challenges, the GOJ comfortably met all the quantitative conditions for the first review and the structural benchmarks as well as the associated indicative commitments (which) were implemented in a timely manner,” the Minister said.
The overall performance followed the country’s successful completion of its own programme targets in March, and follows the implementation of stringent prior actions earlier in the year.
The Minister informed that the major challenges in the first quarter of the programme, April to June, stemmed from a weaker than anticipated global and domestic economic environment.
Notwithstanding, the IMF Staff in its appraisal concluded that “overall policy implementation under the programme has been strong and structural reforms are progressing.” Of note, the primary balance and tax revenue targets were attained. At the same time, the GOJ was able to meet its programmed commitments with respect to social protection expenditure.
Jamaica’s creditable economic performance was also underscored by the recent upgrade by Standard and Poor’s, which noted that the Jamaican economy has stabilised and expressed their expectation that the country’s ambitious fiscal targets for this year will be met.
“The Government of Jamaica remains fully committed to the specific targets set out in the April 2013 Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP). We look forward to receiving the IMF team in November for the second review. After the IMF Executive Board gives the necessary approval to the review, the administration intends to lay a similar Ministry Paper in this Honourable House,” the Minister assured.