Jamaica to miss deadline for key IMF benchmark
Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Jamaica will miss the deadline for implementing one of the key benchmarks under its four-year extend fund facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
September 30 was the deadline for the country to table the Omnibus Incentive Act, which the government said would radically reform Jamaica’s tax incentive regime.
With the House of Representatives not due to sit again until October 1, today was the last day for the tabling of the Bill ahead of that deadline.
But Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips told the Parliament this afternoon that issues have arisen which will delay the legislation.
Phillips said following the first performance review concerns were raised by local stakeholders and international multilateral partners about what was being proposed by the Incentive Working Group, overseeing the promulgation of the new tax incentive system.
He said among the issues are the design of tax credits and allowances to businesses.
The finance minister said discussions were held with the IMF and it was agreed that Jamaica would be given more time to work to bring the legislation to parliament.
Phillips said the new target is to have the Act passed by the end of October.
He also sought to assure that Jamaica’s macro-economic and structural reform programme remains on track adding that the shift in the timeline will not affect the next performance review.
The Omnibus Incentive Act will eliminate ministerial discretionary powers in the granting of tax relief.
The Act is a key element in fulfilling the IMF agreement, which places great emphasis on tax and incentive reform.
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