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Williams commits to ensuring Jamaica fulfils IMF targets

Published:Monday | March 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams, said she is committed to ensuring that Jamaica fulfills the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) targets for the January to March quarter and, by extension, the 2015-16 fiscal year.

This by utilising her knowledge and experience in business, gained locally and internationally, to guide her engagements at the ministry.

Speaking with JIS News, following a meeting with staff at the ministry's National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston on Friday, Minister Williams said Financial Secretary Devon Rowe has indicated that measures are in place to fulfil the obligations under the IMF agreement, which includes the $120 billion primary surplus target for the January to March quarter.

During his monthly media briefing in February, Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chairman Richard Byles indicated that the January to March quarter is expected to be "tough for the fiscal targets".

This is mainly as a result of the doubling of the primary surplus target over the approximately $60 billion achieved for the October to December 2015 quarter.

However, Williams was optimistic about the possibility of achieving this target.

"There are goals and targets that we have to meet, and the plan is to meet all targets," she said in her address to the ministry's staff.

She also underscored the importance of establishing a robust growth agenda in order to achieve significant economic growth and generate more jobs.

"We have to move to robust growth of five or six or seven per cent. Those numbers may sound way over the top, but we believe they are achievable; we need to clear the roadblocks, and make good decisions. But they need to happen faster so that projects can get under way ... (and) persons can be employed," she said.