JIS News

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies has reiterated that there was an agreed phasing of discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to which both parties were committed, and that there was no back-pedalling on a monitoring arrangement with the IMF.
“We have nothing to hide. I have announced that the Fund and the Government of Jamaica have agreed on the parameters within which such a programme would be developed,” Dr. Davies declared.
He was closing the 2004/05 Budget Debate in the House yesterday (April 28), and responding to Opposition Leader, Edward Seaga’s remarks last week that it appeared there was some “back-pedalling” on IMF arrangements.
The Minister pointed out that a small technical team from Jamaica had already visited Washington to work through the preliminary numbers and targets for the medium term. However, pending the presentation of the actual budget numbers, they could not proceed further.
“Furthermore, because virtually all the technical team, as well as myself, are totally involved in completing the budget process during April, the decision was taken that any further work would await my annual post-budget visit to Washington, which will occur in mid May,” he said.
Immediately following that visit, Dr. Davies informed, the IMF technical team would visit Jamaica to carry out its Annual Article IV Consultations. “The discussions will then move forward, given that the full data on the last fiscal year, as well as the Government’s programme for fiscal year 2004/05 and the medium term will now have been completely spelt out,” Dr. Davies pointed out.
“It should be clear to one and all that the better than expected out turn in terms of the fiscal, among other targets, would have improved Jamaica’s bargaining position in terms of the structure of the programme to be monitored by the IMF Board,” the Minister said.

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