Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Chairman of the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC), Carol Narcisse, has announced that the Government has yielded to calls to resume talks on the Partnership for Transformation (PFT).
As a result, discussion on the long-anticipated International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement is slated to take centre stage at a meeting scheduled for next week Wednesday.
The resumption of the meetings on the PFT were among a list of issues raised by the coalition in an open letter sent to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Friday.
Narcisse, who was addressing a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street offices in Kingston yesterday, said the coalition considered the meeting to be critical at this time, in order to iron out the approach being taken by the Government to garner a new agreement with the international lending agency.
"The first order of business is to hear the specifics of the Government's plans and programmes that will become its letter of intent to the IMF so that there can be a dialogue among the partners as to how that's going to work.
"The partnership for transformation we see as a critical mechanism for that consultative approach, and we have been advised that a meeting has now been set for the partnership to be resumed next week, under the chair of the prime minister," Narcisse said.
The JCSC chairperson said unless some "serious partnership agreement" is arrived at with the Government and all the other stakeholders in the country, "we are going to have some major problems going into next year".
Want regular meeting
In the meantime, member of the Peace Management Initiative, Horace Levy, said there was an intention to have regularly scheduled meeting dates for when the PFT should meet and to improve its transparency.
"What we would like to see is the PFT not just being summoned from time to time by the chairperson but have a regular meeting date and that there is transparency in its proceedings just as there is transparency for the Parliament and its committees," he said.
The sittings of the PFT started in 2003 under the previous People's National Party administration. Under its code of conduct, the PFT aims to have "the joint examination and discussion of problems and matters affecting the nation and the partners and involves seeking mutually acceptable solutions through a genuine exchange of views and information".
The last meeting of the PFT was convened in September, last year.