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IMF mission chief discloses reason for visit

Published:Tuesday | May 21, 2013 | 2:49 PM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Jan Kees Martijn, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief to Jamaica, today said the purpose of the a staff visit which is currently underway, is to get an appreciation of how the country is managing its fiscal affairs.

Martijn, noted that the last IMF mission to Jamaica was in February when a staff level agreement was inked.

"There would be quite a long time between that visit and another official visit to review the programme, and to bridge that gap, and to make sure that we remain informed, we decided to have this visit in between," Martijn said at a press conference at the Ministry of Finance in Kingston.

The IMF on May 1 approved Jamaica’s application for a four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in the amount of approximately US$958 million.

Jamaica is not due a review under the EFF until August, but Martijn said the Fund wanted to know what is going on with the country's fiscal accounts.

"We don't want to be here only to discuss formally the implementation of the programme to set targets and check targets. It is also important for us to have a good understanding, be updated to know what is going on," Martijn said.

Finance Minister, Dr Peter Phillips, said the IMF mission is also using the visit to familiarise themselves with the country in all its facets.

"It is not a programme review mission but we have thought it important and timely to have had this visit because it has allowed us an opportunity to exchange views on the current programme and the current economic situation," Phillips said.

The minister said the government is committed, not only to deliver on the commitments made in the programme, but will also seek to overperform on the targets.


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