A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is scheduled to arrive in the island today (December 10) to continue talks with the Government towards the US$1.2 billion standby facility being negotiated for Jamaica.
Speaking at Wednesday’s (December 9) post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House, Minister with Responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that the negotiations were “far advanced”. He could not say whether the impending meeting would result in a conclusion of the arrangements.
“I would not be in a position to tell you that the Minister of Finance (and the Public Service) would be in a position to make (details of) the agreement known in Parliament next week Tuesday. But what I could say is that, if he does not, because it has not reached finality, then he would then be in a position to tell us where we are,” Mr. Vaz stated.
Responding to a question regarding Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding’s undertaking to provide an update on the status of the discussions before Christmas, Mr. Vaz pointed out that “the fact that the IMF team arrives here tomorrow afternoon, after protracted negotiations, indicates that that is still on the cards.”
As to whether or not the Administration was seeking additional funding, other than the US$1.2 billion being negotiated, the Minister said he was not aware of this.
The standby facility is being negotiated with the IMF in the face of a fall-off of some US$1 billion in the Administration’s revenue and foreign exchange earnings, consequent on the global economic downturn impacting key sectors such as bauxite and tourism.
ZET Jamaica is a media monitor for government related news and information in Jamaica.