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Will Economic Programme Oversight Committee be retained under new government?

Published:Wednesday | March 9, 2016 | 3:00 AM
President and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Richard Byles.
Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter.
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Bank of Jamaica Governor Brian Wynter believes that a mechanism of transparency and stakeholder participation that the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) represented will be retained under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic support programme going forward.

He said that a statement from Jamaica House last Friday on the IMF programme indicated support by Prime Minister Andrew Holness for the mechanism.

"I would say that statement points to a continuation, but the precise nature of it, I couldn't comment on because I think anything like that clearly has to be reviewed in the context of a new government," Wynter said at his quarterly press briefing in downtown Kingston, on Monday.

"I think it is very clear that there is an intent to move swiftly and quickly," he said, noting that it was significant that there was a mission from the IMF that met with the prime minister last week.

"I think we need to allow the Government to form and then we see what decisions are made in respect of that," he added.

EPOC'S FORMATION

EPOC was formed under the People's National Party administration and consisted of persons from the private sector, the public sector and civil society, who received and reviewed information from the Government on the progress of implementation of the memorandum of economic and financial policies of the IMF's extended fund facility.

It was co-chaired by Wynter and president and chief executive officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Richard Byles.

The non-public sector members of EPOC issued 33 communiquÈ between May 17, 2013 - the month Jamaica signed the four-year agreement with the Fund - and February 23 of this year.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com