October 18, 2016
The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) welcomes the announcement that the IMF and GOJ have signed a new Standby Agreement, with precautionary funding of US$1.7 Billion.
This news will inspire confidence in the fiscal and monetary programme, and underlines the commitment of the Government to ensuring that we continue to build on the successes of the current Economic Reform Programme. The PSOJ from as early as 2015, indicated that in order to maintain high levels of confidence locally and internationally, it would be necessary for us to continue our fiscal programme, of which a continued agreement with the IMF was essential. We are particularly pleased that a proactive approach was taken and as such the uncertainty of a protracted negotiation was eliminated.
The programme will be buoyed by the recommendations coming out of the Economic Growth Council (EGC), and we remain confident that if Jamaica continues the fiscal and legislative measures, as well as adopts the recommendations from the EGC, then we will be well on our way to sustainable economic and social development.
As we move forward, the PSOJ recognizes however, that significant risks remain to the programme, and urges the government to ensure the timely implementation of measures to address crime and indiscipline, inefficient government bureaucracy (through public sector transformation), more competitive tax rates, including the continued move away from direct taxes for all, and dealing with corruption. Already, greater emphasis on tax compliance and ease of paying taxes has reaped the benefit of higher tax collections for the first five months of the fiscal year. The PSOJ also recognizes that the credibility of the programme, and our development, is going to be dependent on the details of the arrangement but welcome the moves the
Government has been making towards financial and social inclusion, as the foundation for sustainable growth and development.
The PSOJ stands ready to continue a collaborative approach with the Government, and all stakeholders, to realize the vision of Jamaica being the place to live, work, raise families, and do business.
Contact: Ms. Kareen Cox, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
Tel: 927-6238 (Ext. 2052); Fax 978-2709