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PSMC meeting rescheduled

Balford Henry

Friday, August 31, 2012    

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THE Public Sector Monitoring Committee (PSMC) was forced to reschedule its meeting at the Ministry of Finance and Planning yesterday after committee chairman, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance, Horace Dalley failed to show.

Sources who were present for the talks said they were told that the minister had pressing problems in his North Clarendon constituency, but Jamaica Observer efforts to confirm same with Dalley were not successful.

The committee, which is discussing economic issues bearing on the Government's chances of reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by year-end, will meet again next Thursday, September 6.

In Dalley's absence, Financial Secretary Dr Wesley Hughes chaired the meeting, but he dealt with housekeeping issues instead of major topics like the public sector transformation process, which has been the main focus of the committee for several weeks now.

The Government is expected to slash the public sector by some 3,000 posts by next month, as part of its debt-containment strategy. Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, however, says the cuts would include vacant positions.

The PSMC usually meets on the last Thursday of every month, which means that yesterday's meeting should have been the last prior to next month's visit of an IMF team.

Last week, Phillips reaffirmed the Government's commitment to finalise negotiations for a new IMF agreement with the visiting team by September 25, in order to have the proposals reach the IMF board for approval before the end of December.

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