THE country is to hear today details about deliberations by Cabinet ministers during last week’s special three-day retreat as well as details about the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in a statement issued to the media yesterday after the meeting which ended on Saturday, said “good and steady progress was made” over the three-day period.
Simpson Miller said ministers reported on their strategic priorities for the 2013/14 year while Cabinet examined the issues with a view to taking decisions about “the final shape of the upcoming budget against the background of the Economic Reform Programme and the discussions with the International Monetary Fund”.
“The special meeting of the Cabinet settled on important measures to be adopted in shaping the 2013/2014 Budget, and the economic development programme, including the acceleration of job creation,” Simpson Miller said in her statement.
In the meantime, the prime minister said the legislative programme for the current fiscal year and the year ahead were discussed.
She said Cabinet examined, among other things, the further strengthening of the institutional capacity of the security forces, crime prevention and community safety. It also took note of the increase in tourism arrivals and the proposed modernisation of the agricultural sector.
According to Simpson Miller, there was further evidence that “joined-up approaches” were being successfully employed and should be maintained “especially in a time of fiscal constraints”.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has “committed to intensifying communication and dialogue with the society to ensure citizens have a full understanding of the Government’s policies and programmes and the national strategic direction”.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, when contacted by the Jamaica Observer, declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting, saying he preferred to “wait on the briefing tomorrow (today)”.
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