PM Golding made these comments while delivering a lecture at the Bookings Institute in Washington, DC, and he explained that the economic measures that the government had put in place have brought some success.
He told the more than 200 participants that some of the measures put in place to help realise the economic success included the introduction of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), measures to reduce crime, divesting Air Jamaica and the island’s sugar factories, along with the development of stringent economic programmes, with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The Prime Minister explained that the Government had instituted significant institutional reforms to create fiscal sustainability through legislation that will put serious restrictions on the country’s deficit and accumulation of debt, and move it away from just government’s own decision and to subject it to significant parliamentary oversight. “Indeed, I want to go further and put it in the Constitution and place significant limits, with the provision that in extraordinary circumstances, with the approval of Parliament, that those limits can be exceeded,” he said. “We have sought to consolidate government’s accounts and bring them under one Treasury Management System. This will allow us to have a clearer picture of our government accounts.”
Golding emphasised that he was also trying to return the government to its essential core functions and would leave to the private sector, those things that are more suited to private sector investment and management. Golding held bilateral talks with the US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick, and Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Naoyuki Shinonara, and also had an investment luncheon with US-based high level investors.
(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Guardian publication)