PNP, IMF – year one

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The first year of this new People's National Party (PNP) administration has been a mixed bag. Among the things under its control, there (have) been spectacular lows, but no spectacular highs. There have been promises kept and pledges broken. There has been talk on specific issues but no commensurate action and, as the world knows by now, there's been, as yet, no agreement on a new economic programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The most important ministry in Government these days, Finance, has been toiling since January last year, but is yet to conclude negotiations on a deal which suits the IMF and is tailored for the problems of the local economy. Across the country there's a latent frustration and, in many cases, pent- up rage at the absence of a new deal, one full year after the Government changed hands. Those sentiments are strong enough to sufficiently cloud the judgements of those who know very well that negotiations like these are not only extremely difficult, but are also 'time-insensitive'. In other words, the IMF doesn't care about any timeline given by any minister or Government to the people about the proposed completion of negotiations. So despite Dr Peter Phillips putting himself in jail with his December deadline for the deal completion, the IMF cares only about the integrity of the numbers and has no interest in sparing the minister any embarrassment.

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