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IMF results for Jamaica still out

Published:Friday | April 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

JAMAICA HAS surpassed one of the major targets set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for it to qualify for a second drawdown of funds from the multilateral agency.

However, Finance Minister Audley Shaw says it is too early to say whether the country has passed the first test.

Preliminary data revealed in Parliament by Shaw yesterday indicated that Jamaica ran a primary balance of $68.1 billion last fiscal year, better than the $66.9 billion required under the IMF programme.

"An evaluation and assess-ment of the end of March 2010 performance criteria will be completed in four to six weeks towards the first programme review which will be onMay 31, 2010," Shaw told Parliament.

The minister's comments meant additional egg on the face of his junior minister, Arthur Williams, who declared last week that Jamaica had passed the IMF test.


Meanwhile, Shaw told Parliament that had the Government not relied upon dividend payments from 16 public-sector companies, the primary balance would have been in trouble.

He said that money taken from these entities would not put them in jeopardy.

Of the estimated $7 billion in capital revenue the Government collected last year from public bodies, $5 billion was raised in March as Jamaica appeared to be in danger of not keeping its primary balance in check.

Jamaica entered into a standby agreement for US$1.27 billion with the IMF in February. The country has already benefited from US$640 million.