IMF Executive Gives Thumbs Up!

The following is Press Release No. 19/235 on Barbados first review under the extended fund facility – David, Barbados Underground

IMF Executive Board Completes First Review Under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility for Barbados and Approves US$48.7 Million Disbursement

June 24, 2019

  • The completion of the review enables an immediate disbursement of SDR 35 million (about US$48.70 million). A four-year EFF arrangement was approved on October 1, 2018.
  • Fiscal adjustment is ongoing, with the authorities targeting a primary surplus of 6 percent of GDP in FY2019/20 and several years thereafter.
  • A public debt restructuring is complementing the fiscal consolidation. The restructuring of domestic public debt completed in November 2018 has helped to substantially reduce the public debt burden. The authorities are engaging in good faith negotiations with external commercial creditors.

On June 24, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the first review of Barbados’ economic reform program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The completion of the review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of SDR 35 million (about US$48.70 million), bringing total disbursements to SDR 70 million (about US$97.40 million).

The four-year EFF arrangement amount equivalent to SDR 208 million (about US$289.41 million, or 220 percent of Barbados’s quota in the IMF) was approved by the Executive Board on October 1, 2018 (see Press Release No. 18/370).

Barbados has embarked on a comprehensive Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan aimed at restoring fiscal and debt sustainability, addressing falling reserves, and increasing growth. The program seeks to protect vulnerable groups through strengthened social safety nets.

Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair said:

“Barbados has made a strong start in implementing its ambitious and homegrown economic reform program. All performance criteria for March 2019 were met, and all structural benchmarks have been implemented, although a few with minor delays.

“The FY2019/20 budget provides a solid basis for the targeted fiscal consolidation of 6 percent of GDP. The adjustment effort is supported by several new taxes, ongoing reforms in public financial management, a reduction of transfers to State‑Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and adequate provisions for social safety nets and capital expenditure. If necessary, the authorities stand ready to take additional measures to reach the targeted primary surplus. The planned adoption of a fiscal rule in 2020 will help sustain the adjustment effort over the medium and long term.

“Reform of SOEs is critical for achieving the primary surplus target and maintaining it over the medium term. To secure fiscal space for investment in physical and human capital, transfers to SOEs are envisaged to significantly decline by a combination of stronger oversight of SOEs, cost reduction, revenue enhancement, and mergers and divestment.

“A comprehensive public debt restructuring complements the fiscal consolidation. The domestic debt restructuring completed in November 2018 has significantly reduced Barbados’s public debt burden without jeopardizing financial stability. The authorities are continuing good faith negotiations with external commercial creditors, which together with the domestic debt restructuring, should help restore debt sustainability.

“The fixed exchange rate has served as a key anchor for macroeconomic stability and international reserves have increased. The exchange rate peg and monetary regime would be further bolstered by the planned reforms to strengthen the central bank’s mandate, autonomy, and decision‑making structures.

“Structural reforms target improvements in the business environment to increase growth over the medium term. With the adoption of a new Town and Country Planning Law in January 2019, the process for providing construction permits has been streamlined. Going forward, the authorities intend to carefully review and address the different obstacles to growth.

“Adequate social spending and an improved safety net are key priorities for the program. The authorities have launched a training and outplacement program to mitigate the impact on unemployment from layoffs at the central government and SOEs.”


125 thoughts on “IMF Executive Gives Thumbs Up!

  1. @ John A

    It is not a question of who is the better person; it is that I believe that Mr Arthur should have attended as a private person then resume (start) writing his memoires. An invitation to a funeral s not a political game.

  2. @ Vincent Codrington June 26, 2019 9:10 AM

    Agree with you in toto.

    The Right Honourable Owen S. Arthur was the ideal person to be asked to represent the State of Barbados.

    Isn’t he receiving a pension equivalent to 100 % of his basic salary as when he was PM?

    What’s wrong with giving back to his country?
    Isn’t this a classic case of Noblesse Oblige at work?

  3. @ Miller at 10 :10 AM

    Yes . It is indeed Noblesse Oblige at work. I remember too well when it was one of the characteristics of the quintessential bajan.

  4. I believe that if Mr Arthur wanted my opinion on if to attend or not, he could have contacted me through the blogmaster.
    As he did not reach out to me, I assume he did not value my opinion.
    Consequently, I want Mr Arthur to know… “I do not care if go or stay. Have a nice day”
    what if…
    Mr Arthur wanted to go but could not (on his pension) afford a ticket and this was Mia’s way of handing him a “package of food”…

  5. A flight Barbados/Kingston/Barbados cost $820 USD. I don’t know who paid. It is not a big ticket item. If it was paid for out of my tax money i don’t mind at all. But it is well know that I like Arthur, so, yes, I am biased. In any event the funeral of a head or former of state; or head or former head of government IS a political matter. It is not your gran’s funeral.

    Mr.Seaga was Minister of Finance and Planning from 1967

    Mr. Arthur was a student in Jamaica from the late sixties or early seventies; and after graduation worked in Jamaica with its National Planning Agency, and other places for about ten years until the early 80’s, so he may well have worked with Mr. Seaga, and had the opportunity to know him that no other Bajan Prime Minister, or Foreign Minister has had.

  6. PM Mottley could have invited ex PM Stuart to represent the Barbados government at the funeral (and maybe she did). Based on his history of quick response to urgent matters of importance, the late Mr Sega would be well on his way to his final destination before Speedy Gonzales fashioned a reply (if he had a chance to read the invitation as was so often quoted).

  7. This just in :

    DPP drops charges against Charles Herbert

    The Director of Public Prosecutions has determined that all drug charges against Charles Herbert should be dropped on the grounds of a lack of evidence.

    However, she has recommended that Christopher Glen Rogers and Walter Prescod will face a judge and jury in connection with a drug bust at the Bridgetown Port in July 2018.

    The three accused were jointly charged with possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of 267 pounds or 121.4 kilogrammes of cannabis with an estimated street value of $ 534,160.

    Magistrate Douglas Frederick who heard the submissions made by the prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Trevor Blackman, is still to make a decision on the DPP’s recommendation in relation to Rogers and Prescod.

    Herbert and Rogers are being represented by Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim while attorney-at-law Verla DePeiza is the legal counsel for Prescod.

  8. In my humble opinion Mottley asking OSA to attend the funeral was nothing more than back door politics
    After all when OSA publicly resigned from being a member in the House of Parliament not a pecking word of Praise towards OSA stewsrdship came out of the mouth of Mia Mottley on Parliament floor
    Not surprising she would downgrade his influence on the political field to one of asking him to attend funerals
    almost symbolic of asking him to dig his own political grave

  9. Idle equipment ready for action

    Article by
    Marlon Madden

    Published on
    June 29, 2019×321.jpg

    With about $5 million in investment sitting idle for the past eight years while the country is losing out on critical foreign exchange, one local businessman is calling on Government to come to his rescue.
    Managing Director of B’s Recycling Paul Bynoe said despite several promises from the past Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration, he was still waiting to put his metal shredding machine to use after purchasing it in 2011 in preparation for a promised green energy project in St Thomas.

    Managing Director of B’s Recycling Paul Bynoe is still waiting to put his metal shredding machine to use after purchasing it in 2011.
    “We would love to do more. We have a piece of equipment that will shred a fridge, stove, washing machine or an old car, separating the dirt, the glass, tires and foam. We have it on island now for the last eight years hoping that we can get it set up, but we have our ups and downs in trying to get it move to a proper location. I am hoping that under this administration that can happen,” said Bynoe.
    “I know that the last government designated Vaucluse as the green energy area, but we are hoping to get there and real fast. This can shred all the fridges, stoves, washing machines and all the unwanted vehicles, and can clean up the material as it comes out and we could ship it off the island,” he said.
    Speaking to reporters at his Cane Garden, St Thomas facility on Friday, Bynoe said it “pains” him every time he had to visit the area and see the equipment lying idle.
    He explained that under a “green energy programme” that was touted by the DLP back in 2013, he would have been given a space at the Vaucluse, St Thomas location.
    Then Minister of the Environment and Drainage Dr Denis Lowe had promised a $1 billion green energy programme for Vaucluse, where a Mangrove Pond Green Energy Complex would be built and more than 800 jobs created during the life of the project, of which 76 would be permanent.
    The plan also consisted of a waste-energy facility, a solar farm and a wind farm facility, which would collectively save the country thousands of barrels of oil each year, while reducing the island’s carbon footprint.
    “We intend to continue pushing our green energy programme. The pathway we set now, can save generations to come,” Lowe said at the time while speaking on a state television programme.
    However, with nothing in sight and the equipment purchased as part of the plan to have a facility located there, Bynoe said the country continued to lose out on job creation and earning foreign exchange.
    “We did whatever we had to do in order to try to get there but we are awaiting some final things,” said Bynoe, who reported that while he was devastated and his “spirits crushed” following a 2013 fire at his facility, he was on the mend.
    There are currently three huge pieces of equipment sitting on a section of his Cane Garden facility along with five container loads of fixtures, that when put together would create the metal shredder machine, the first of its kind in the region.
    Bynoe said he has already sent a letter to the current administration requesting a meeting. He added that he was eager to help create jobs, bring in more foreign exchange and keep the island clean.

  10. @ David June 30, 2019 11:45 AM

    What could be the holdup to the implementation of such an absolutely vital project aka environmental saviour?

    The problem here is that Paul is not prepared to play ball and grease the palms being held out by those politicians, their lackeys and corrupt bureaucrats with the following markings:
    Where is my cut, Mister Paul B?

    The AG is fully seized of the modus operandi of his political colleagues sitting on both sides of the imaginary fence of ministerial integrity.

  11. @ David June 30, 2019 2:35 PM

    It’s the downright vacillating approach taken by the government which is stifling environmental initiatives like B’s Recycling and which have contributed to the current awful environmental state of once beautiful Barbados.

    And it seems this Mottley administration has taken over the baton of downright lackadaisicalness and incompetence from the Stuart administration in the area of environmental protection.

    Why has it taken so long to sort out B’s Recycling?

    Can’t the minister(s) responsible see the number of derelict vehicles and broken household appliances ‘adorning’ the streets in already congested residential areas and providing a haven for rats and other disease-carrying vermin?

    Why treat the Bynoe entrepreneur as a pariah and persona non grata by refusing to deal with the matter the same way the minister(s) cannot address the issue of imported water in plastic bottles?

    The same way the South coast sewage spillage situation brought the country’s to its knees so too would some major outbreak of diseases caused by the very poor public hygiene and environmental terrorism being practised by Bajans today in cahoots with the government which has lost its environmental soul.

    What is the government waiting for in order to clean up its act? A hurricane to blow away the environmental mess and moral filth the country is fast building up?

  12. We have flogged the NIS matter.

    Indeed we have! Why do you think that this major issue is not gaining any traction? I mean hardly anyone seems to be taking it seriously?

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