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Should Jamaica go back to the IMF after 2017?

Published:Thursday | March 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMSherine Williams, Gleaner Writer

At least one member of the private sector has agreed that Jamaica would benefit from another International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme when the current one ends in 2017.

The suggestion was made this week by Co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, Richard Byles.

William Mahfood, the President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), says he agrees that another IMF programme would help Jamaica maintain the level of fiscal discipline currently required.


However, economist Dr Andre Haughton says he doesn't believe Jamaica should go back to the IMF simply for the purpose of fiscal discipline.

Haughton says Jamaica should only agree to another IMF program if the country cannot generate enough international reserves to meet its obligations.


Economist Dr. Andre Haughton

Meanwhile, both Mahfood and Haughton agree that Jamaica has the option to adopt the IMF recommendations and pass laws that would help the country's government achieve fiscal discipline.

Mahfood says such an option would hold governments accountable and force them to meet important economic targets.


PSOJ president Williams Mahfood

Jamaica has passed nine reviews so far under its Extended Fund Facility with the IMF.

A review mission team from the IMF is expected in Kingston in May to conduct the 11th and 12th reviews.