IMF team heading for Jamaica
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is scheduled to arrive within the next month for discussions with the Government on a successor relationship to the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which ends in April 2017.
Finance and the Public Service Minister Audley Shaw made the announcement during Friday's 13th IMF quarterly review media briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister. Shaw told journalists that while there are "various options" from which to choose, the Government is exploring the possible implementation of a "precautionary" arrangement. This, he explained, would facilitate continuation of the administration's structural reform programme with specific measurable performance objectives and potential financial support in the event of natural disasters and oil price spikes, "the sort of things that can affect your balance of payments".
Noting that Jamaica was on a "good trajectory", consequent on implementation of the IMF-supported economic reform programme, Shaw said follow-up relations with the institution would not require another EFF arrangement.
"As a government, we have indicated publicly that we are not resiling from continuing a relationship with the IMF," he said. In her remarks, head of the IMF's Staff Mission Team to Jamaica Dr Uma Ramakrishnan said that the members held preliminary discussions on the matter with government representatives during the just-concluded 13th review for the April to June quarter.
She indicated, however, that any recommendation for an alternative arrangement must be approved by the IMF's executive board before it could be implemented.