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Gov’t to Manage Large Surpluses of State Agencies

Finance and THE Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw addresses surplus of state agencies

Photo: Finance and THE Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw (4th left), addresses journalists during Monday’s (March 13) post-Budget media briefing at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston. Others (from left) are Senior Advisor in the Ministry and Government Senator, Aubyn Hill; State Ministers, Hon. Rudyard Spencer and Fayval Williams; Financial Secretary, Everton McFarlane; and Bank of Jamaica Governor, Brian Wynter.

The Government is conducting a forensic review of state agencies which have significant financial surpluses in accounts, totaling nearly $200 billion, with a view to incorporating these in the Administration’s central operations.

Speaking at a post-Budget media briefing, today (March 13), at his National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the review is consistent with International Monetary Fund (IMF) guidelines.

“It is going to be transparent, objective and in the best interest of Jamaica’s development. Jamaicans will be at the heart of the conclusion of that study,” he emphasised.

Mr. Shaw said the review has commenced with the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which, he noted, have a combined surplus of $1.9 billion.

“We have decided to de-earmark some of these selected entities and (incorporate) their operations back into the recurrent and capital expenditure (arrangement) of Central Government,” he informed.

This, the Minister assured, will not result in the entities’ operations being scaled down or terminated.

“What it means is that we will take their budget into Central Government, give them what they need (to operate) and keep the surplus. So, this is not going to entail taking some money from here and there (for) every budget. It is going to be in the context of a proper review in which those public bodies operate,” Mr. Shaw explained.

Article by: Douglas McIntosh
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