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Reforms must be given time, says Phillips

Published:Friday | February 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

CITING ISSUES of institutional capacity, the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) yesterday urged its multilateral partners to give due consideration to the pace at which reforms are to be made to the country's economy.

The message was relayed by Dr Peter Phillips, minister of finance, while speaking at a joint press conference with represen-tatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at his Heroes Circle office.

"The GoJ believes that consideration must be given to the pace of reforms going forward given the significant constraints on institutional capacity," Phillips said.

"Further, given the extensive nature of these reforms, time must be allowed for full discussion by all stakeholders," the minister added.

The Government, under the IMF's four-year extended fund facility, has agreed to undertake several structural reforms, including revamping the public sector and tax reform. The Government has also agreed to the implementation of laws on fiscal rules, reform of the security-dealers sector, and the implementation of an omnibus banking law.

Phillips said yesterday an agreement between the staff of the IMF and the GoJ to modify the deliverables for the March benchmark targets has been made. He said that while there was no substantial adjustments to any of the quantitative targets, it was necessary to delay the passage of the omnibus banking act until next fiscal year.