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KINGSTON — Three investment loans to the Government from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a display of confidence that the Government is on the right path to fiscal consolidation, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Tuesday November 22, 2011.

The Prime Minister said the action also indicated confidence in effective fiscal management of the country’s economy, and that Jamaica is on track to achieving stability and growth.

Mr. Holness was speaking at the Signing Ceremony for a loan financing of US$20 million between the Government and the IDB, at Jamaica House Tuesday morning. The programme is expected to result in measurable reductions in the energy bill for the public sector.

The IDB has approved three loans which will be disbursed over the coming days, a release from Jamaica House on the singing explained, at interest rates between 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent.

The loans, valued at  a total of US$218 million, will finance the Kingston and St. Andrew Metropolitan Area Water Supply Improvement Project at US$133 million; the Tax Administration and Customs Administration Reform Programme at US$65 million; and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme at US$20 million. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation US$20 M loan is the first of the three which was signed Tuesday morning.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme is designed to enhance Jamaica’s energy efficiency and conservation potential, through the design and implementation of cost saving Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation measures in the public sector.

The loan will support the institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, to better monitor the Government’s energy efficiency and conservation programme, invest in Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation measures in the public sector by facilitating the retrofitting of key government buildings and increase awareness and knowledge among the public and key private stakeholders. 

“These loans are an investment in the provision of critical services and amenities, but also an investment in making the public sector more efficient. It is the savings from the efficiency that will allow us to repay the loan,” the Prime Minister explained.

He said part of the energy efficiency loan will go towards retrofitting public sector operations and buildings, to make them more efficient.

Mr. Holness said that although the project is geared towards increasing energy efficiency within the public sector, the effort has to be extended to all Jamaicans.

 

By Balford Henry, JIS Reporter & Editor