Jamaica extends IMF agreement


KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says it intends to seek a two year extention on the current multi-million dollar Stand By Agreement (SBA) it has with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Finance Minister Audley Shaw leading off the debate on the J545 billion (US$6.4 billion) budget yesterday, told legislators that the Bruce Golding government intends seeking the extension when the agreement comes to an end in May next year.
 “We believe that it is in the best interest of the country to continue its relationship with the IMF,” Shaw said, adding that a continuation of the programme would send a positive signal that will maintain stability, reinforce confidence, and provide the important factor of certainty to stakeholders.
“All the International Development Partners (IDPs) — the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, and the Caribbean Development Bank — use the quarterly reviews as the primary and first conditionality to be met prior to disbursement of loans and grants.”
In addition, Shaw said there is need to foster both confidence and certainty in the domestic and foreign capital markets to facilitate incremental reduction of the interest costs on debt. (CMC)


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