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Richard Byles steps down as EPOC co-chair

Published:Thursday | November 17, 2016 | 5:57 PM
Richard Byles

Richard Byles, the president and chief executive officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited, has stepped down as co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC).

However, he will remain on the committee as his company's representative.

Byles revealed his decision to members of the committee in an email this afternoon.

In the email, obtained by The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre, Byles said this is a good time for someone else to lead EPOC in monitoring the new agreement approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

EPOC was set up to monitor the implementation of the 2013 IMF deal which was replaced last week by a-three-year programme.

Byles said it has been a rewarding journey.

Since the change of administration and appointment of Audley Shaw as finance minister, there were concerns that Byles would have been replaced.

While in Opposition, Shaw had repeatedly criticised Byles as being a mouthpiece for the People's National Party administration.

There were also concerns that the monitoring committee would not continue.

However, speaking on Nationwide Radio today, Shaw sought to assure that the EPOC would remain although he did not address the issue of leadership.

EPOC comprises 11 representatives from the private and public sectors, civil society, and trade unions.

Bank of Jamaica Governor, Brian Wynter, is the other chairperson.