IMF team due in Ja. next Monday
The government is pushing to have a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by December.
Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips told Parliament this afternoon (July 17) that it is hoped that an agreement will be signed in the fourth quarter of this calendar year.
Finance Minister Dr. Phillips was updating Parliament on talks recently held in the US with representatives of the international lending agency.
There have been comments in the press and financial circles recently, expressing concern that there appears to be no date set for an agreement with the fund though there is broad agreement that one is needed.
A team from the IMF will be in the island as of next Monday, to hold meetings to advance discussions on matters including the shape of the medium term economic programme and the actions to be taken before an agreement can be signed.
The Finance Minister notes that a negotiating team will follow to close the deal.
Dr. Phillips says while the government is anxious to sign off on the agreement, it will defend Jamaica’s interest.
In the meantime, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed several concerns during recent talks with Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips.
Dr. Phillips met with representativeness of the IMF and the Inter-American Development Bank, in Washington, last week.
Several meetings between the sides have already taken place as Jamaica seeks a new agreement with the fund.
For several months, the fund has made it clear that certain fundamental issues should be tackled, including reform of the tax system and the pension system, as well as holding-down the cost of the government work force.
Dr. Phillips told the House this afternoon, that the IMF again raised tax reform, as well as the over-hauling of the public sector, as areas of concern.