JIS News

A team from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, will be going to Washington next week to hold discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board, to finalize the details for the implementation of a monitoring mechanism to replace the discontinued Staff Monitored Programme (SMP).
Dr. Davies told members of the private sector at a meeting in Kingston recently, that the parties had originally agreed on a May date to begin the discussions, but he had subsequently written to the IMF indicating that the Government would like to accelerate the process to have the programme in place.
“The development would be of significant interest to you the members of the private sector, but equally so to the members of the international capital market, who would be relieved to know that we have found a compromising agreement with the International Monetary Fund,” Dr. Davies stated.
He pointed out further that, “this is a significant breakthrough because it has achieved our objective. Satisfying the IMF would then trigger the release of additional funds from multilaterals”.
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, at the March 1 post Cabinet press briefing, told journalists that the IMF had accepted an invitation from Jamaica to help in the design of a comprehensive economic programme to reduce the public debt burden.
He said that the arrangement would serve to increase the avenue for dialogue between the Fund and Jamaica and support efforts at greater policy discipline, while signalling to creditors and the rest of the international community, the country’s continued commitment to sound macro economic policies.
Citing the importance of the initiative, Mr. Patterson said it would make it easier for Jamaica to access international funding and raise money on the international capital market at attractive rates.
The Prime Minister made it clear that the programme was not a borrowing one, nor was it drawn up by the IMF. “It is a programme of the Government of Jamaica,” he emphasized.