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Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon Audley Shaw, signed a US$200 million loan agreement with the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. Thursday (February 25). “This loan will support the Government’s comprehensive reform programme, to address fiscal and debt sustainability,” Mr. Shaw explained, at the signing ceremony,at the World Bank’s headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. The initiative is a co-ordinated effort by multi-lateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)to help the Government sustain its long-term development agenda.
Mr. Shaw pointed out that the loan will assist in increasing the efficiency of the public financial management and budgetary process, as well as increase tax revenues through improved tax administration.
“The Government of Jamaica is deeply appreciative to the World Bank for its support for the country’s reform programme, together with support from other international development partners,” the Minister said.
“We are implementing a comprehensive reform programme, to put the country back on a sustainable path and achieve significant growth over the medium term,” he added.
Signing on behalf of the World Bank, Director for the Caribbean region,Yvonne Tisikata, said that despite the severe impact of the global crisis, Jamaica remains committed to a long-term reform agenda, and has taken critical measures to advance key public sector reforms.
“The fiscal responsibility framework, the comprehensive debt exchange, the public bodies rationalisation plan and the tax administration reform, are far-reaching and, if fully implemented, will generate large benefits for the Jamaican people,” she stated. The loan is repayable over 30 years.
Accompanying Mr. Shaw at the signing were Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson; Governor of the Bank of Jamaica,Brian Wynter; and the Financial Secretary, Dr Wesley Hughes.