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JIS News

Financial Secretary, Dr. Wesley Hughes, says Jamaica’s economic programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not have to be “drastically reordered”, despite the negative impact the recent unrest in sections of Kingston will most likely have on the country’s economic plans.
Dr. Hughes, who was speaking recently on the Jamaica Information Service’s current affairs programme, Issues and Answers, said that Ministry of Finance would have to do an in-depth assessment to determine the extent of the impact, but said the country is committed to meeting its economic targets.
“As of now, there is a commitment to stick with the programme as negotiated, and any adjustments that we are going to have to make will be within the context of the original programme. We are going to try to meet the targets,” he stated.
Dr. Hughes noted however, that there will be challenges ahead, especially given the Government’s stated intention to sustain efforts to dismantle gangs across the island.
He said that in light of the recent unrest and the expected challenges, the Government has already begun talks with the IMF regarding possible adjustments. He further disclosed that there are plans to include the recent developments in Jamaica’s Letter of Intent, which was being modified after Jamaica’s better than expected performance on the first IMF test.
A team from the IMF was in the island last month to review the country’s performance and reported that Jamaica had met all its quantitative performance criteria for the end of March 2010 test date, without the need for waivers.
Based on this performance, the team has recommended the release of the next tranche of funds to Jamaica. The team and the Government also agreed to update the letter of intent for review by the board of the Fund when it meets this month.