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PSOJ gives support to NDX

Published:Wednesday | February 13, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Christopher Zacca

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) has given its conditional support to the Government's debt swap dubbed the National Debt Exchange Programme (NDX), providing it leads to development.

The PSOJ insisted yesterday, prior to last night's announcement of a $15.9-billion tax package, that the Government must perform its obligations and live up to its commitments to fiscal discipline and consolidation going forward.

"PSOJ members also want to see the immediate introduction and implementation of a growth plan for Jamaica, post-International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal. The fact is that any programme of fiscal consolidation will fail to reduce our debt to sustainable levels unless it is accompanied very quickly by economic growth," said PSOJ president Christopher Zacca in a media release yesterday. "We must never again find ourselves in this position and it is incumbent on the Government to perform."

Government announced a second domestic debt exchange programme, officially launched yesterday, that aims to cut J$17 billion in annual interest payments on local bonds. It is a precondition for a pending IMF loan agreement.

"Fulfilling this and the other outlined prior conditions will be painful for all of us, but it requires a truly national effort, and we must all share the burden if we are desirous of securing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal," stated the PSOJ in a media release yesterday.

The PSOJ also commended the Government on its plans to ensure accountability and transparency through the establishment of an Economic Programme Oversight Committee that would oversee the compliance and implementation of the IMF agreement.

"The membership of the committee, which is expected to comprise both public- and private-sector stakeholders, reflects the now common understanding that sustainable, successful growth and development can only be achieved through the alliance and cooperation between the public and private sectors," stated Zacca.