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JAMAICA REACH IMF TARGET

Jamaica has met all targets under the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (PSBA) for the period ending December 2018.

This is according to Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr. Hon. Nigel Clarke, who indicated the Government’s concurrence with the IMF that Jamaica’s Economic Reform Programme remains strong, consequent on consistent policy implementation.

“The Government has met all 22 structural benchmarks under the Stand-By Arrangement to date, including eight macro-fiscal structural benchmarks and 14 structural benchmarks for the public sector reform programme,” Dr. Clarke informed.

He was speaking at the joint Government of Jamaica (GoJ)/IMF press conference for the 5th PSBA Review, at the Finance Ministry in Kingston on Friday (March 8).

Dr. Clarke assured that the Government remains fully committed to the reform agenda and is escalating efforts to increase domestic investment and growth, boost job creation, and bolster economic resilience while maintaining fiscal prudence.

“Public sector reform remains a key policy focus with emphasis [being] placed on the acceleration of public bodies and the reintegration of bodies in parent Ministries,” he added.

In her remarks, IMF Mission Chief for Jamaica, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, lauded the Government on its performance over the review period, noting that “strong implementation of the reform programme continues with the sustained commitment yielding tangible dividends for the people of Jamaica”.

She informed that the IMF Executive Board is scheduled to consider the 5th Review in April 2019.

The Board’s approval will enable the release of approximately US$223 million which will bring the total sum available to Jamaica to US$1.4 billion, if necessary.

Dr. Clarke pointed out that barring unforeseen circumstances, the Government will not need to draw down any of the funds available under PSBA, “which is good news for Jamaica”.

The 6th and final review of the Government’s performance under the three-year programme is slated for June 2019.

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