JIS News

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the Government will be implementing several measures aimed at ensuring that the objectives of the Economic Reform Programme are achieved.

“First, we shall be establishing, by the end of March 2013, a coordinating and implementing unit in the Ministry of Finance, staffed with persons recruited from outside and within the public sector charged with nothing else than ensuring that everyone, all agencies and departments, get with the programme and meet the timelines,” Dr. Phillips said.

He was speaking during a broadcast to the nation on February 11, along with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

He also informed that an Economic Programme Oversight Committee will be put in place, which will include stakeholder representatives, such as the private sector and trade unions, and government officials.

The Oversight Committee aims to monitor the compliance and progress of the ministries, departments and agencies with regard to the implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement with full authority on their part and to inform the public of their findings.

“This is an unprecedented step of public accountability and transparency,” Dr. Phillips stated.

The Finance Minister noted that the Economic Reform Programme, for which the Government was seeking support from the IMF, has, as its major objective, the reduction of public debt in order to achieve sustained economic growth and job creation.

Dr. Phillips said as long as the country’s debt as a percentage of the economy remains high, the capacity for growth and development will be severely limited. Currently, the debt stands at over 140 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

“My administration is determined to implement the sound management practices our economy requires; and we have already begun,” the Finance Minister said.