Key IMF Talks Underway in Washington


Discussions are underway involving the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank, regarding the extent of their commitments in support of the IMF programme for Jamaica.

This was disclosed by Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 19.

He was responding to questions raised by Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw, on the status of the negotiations with the Fund.

The Finance Minister explained that the submission of the Jamaica programme to the IMF board for final approval will have to await the outcome of the discussions taking place this week in Washington, DC.

He said it is possible that the submission to the IMF board will be made before the end of the month.

“We expect that the soonest possible date will be forthcoming and indeed, it remains possible before the end of March,” he stated.

Dr. Phillips noted that the discussions, now underway, are important “because those institutions, as you would understand, are required to make a substantial commitment in support of the programme in addition to other institutions.”

Jamaica and the IMF reached a Staff-level agreement in Februaryon the key elements of an economic programme that can be supported by a 48-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The Government has already successfully carried out a number of the prior actions required by the IMF to secure financing. These include implementation of the National Debt Exchange (NDX), containing public sectors wages, and undertaking new revenue measures.

By Latonya Linton

JIS Social