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IMF discussions advanced, says PM

Thursday, October 18, 2012 | 5:34 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says the Government’s approach in securing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is very serious and the discussions were advanced and ongoing.

Speaking at the first in a series of parish meetings aimed at providing the public with information on national development, held yesterday at the Jose Marti High School at Twickenham Park, the Prime Minister said an agreement with the IMF was necessary in order to “get support from the multilaterals and bilateral institutions, build business confidence and keep the economy stable”. 

She also underscored government’s commitment to the issues of tax reform, pension reform and public sector reform as part of such a programme.

Also speaking at the forum, Minister of Justice, Mark Golding, said the multilateral agency has accepted Jamaica’s medium term programme as a basis for negotiations on the related issues in the programme. 

“The talks are well advanced, and that the IMF has accepted the Government’s medium term programme which is a four year programme and the targets in it. What is now being sorted out are the other details as to how we will stick to the programme to which we are committing ourselves,” Golding said.

On the matter of employment and job creation, the Simpson Miller said while it was government’s intention to increase employment through initiatives like the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), “we will only be able to solve the unemployment issue when the economy begins to grow in a sustainable manner.”

Simpson Miller also discussed the upward trend in crimes, particularly those committed against women and children. She appealed for the support of the citizens to tackle the crime problem, adding: “You cannot have a female Prime Minister and feel that you must just abuse women and children. We are working seriously on several pieces of legislation to address the problem.” 

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