Sunday, April 14, 2024

Boyce: World Bank shunned


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The Government of Barbados shunned financial help from the World Bank earlier this year, because the international body wanted the country to enter into a programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).This was revealed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Darcy Boyce, during a 61-minute Press conference on Thursday night.In terms of raising important revenue through borrowing, Boyce revealed they had been approached by the World Bank, but shunned that organisation’s assistance because of a number of conditionalities Government would have been forced to agree with.He said Government had already conducted negotiations for a US$45 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, and US$50 million from the Caribbean Development Bank, but when it came to the World Bank, they had serious concerns. “We thought the World Bank should have been helping us. But, the conditionalities which they wanted us to adopt, we didn’t want that,” Boyce said. According to Boyce, the IMF has not asked that Barbados be in a programme, but the World Bank has only reintroduced countries that have been graduated for borrowing by requiring them to go into an IMF programme, which forced Government to shun the World Bank assistance. Also Thursday night, the minister noted that CLICO customers should have no fear, as their money was safe.Boyce revealed that the people who bought policies from the cash-strapped company should not be too concerned, since their investments were adequately protected by the company’s asset base. “There is a reasonable way in which those investments, which are straight investments, can be returned to the people who own them.”He noted that even though the tenure of a Government-appointed oversight committee had ended in June, things remained in place to protect policy holders. “The Supervisor of Insurance is there to monitor everything. That is his job. The CLICO matter will be resolved fairly shortly,” Boyce said confidently.The minister also touched on the continuation of a wage freeze in the public sector, noting that negotiations would have to start, and conclude at the level of the Social Partnership. According to Boyce, those negotiations would determine if a national wage freeze would be necessary in the long run.


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