Nevis Island Administration Meets With IMF Delegation

CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 09, 2006)
A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Nevis on Monday and held discussions for the first time with the recently installed Nevis Island Administration. The visit formed part of the funding institution’s annual visit to St. Kitts and Nevis and other member states.
Following the meeting which was held at the Cabinet Room of the Nevis Island Administration in Bath Plains, Premier and Minister of Finance the Honourable Joseph Parry told the Government Information Service during a brief interview that the meeting was cordial and positive and he outlined a number of areas discussed.“We met with the IMF team this morning to brief them with what our proposals are in terms of the people’s agenda which is our manifesto and the contents of our throne speech. At the same time, the IMF is concerned about debt reduction and debt control so we were able to discuss our knowledge and understanding of what the debt is; how we are going to reduce the debt and how we are going to accomplish some of the things we hope to accomplish over the next five years without making the debt any bigger,” he said.
Notwithstanding, Mr Parry expressed his confidence, that under his Administration everything necessary would be done to control Nevis’ debt and to ensure that the NIA’s programmes as had been outlined in the Nevis Reformation Party’s manifesto would be implemented.
The Premier also noted that the NIA under his leadership would also ensure that all corporations became independent which would result in a natural reduction of the island’s debt; review all fiscal policies and improve tax administration.
“So we are confident that with hard work and the cooperation of the people of Nevis, we (NIA) will achieve much in the next five years and the country would be even stronger at the end of this term of the Nevis Reformation Party’s government.
Meantime, Financial Secretary Mr Laurie Lawrence explained that the IMF’s visit was to undertake Article 4 Consultation.
“That is done annually where the IMF meets with the various countries to discuss with them economic prospects as well as looking at their fiscal situation and debt situation and give them some advice on the way forward,” he said.
According to Mr Lawrence, Monday’s visit came at a time when Nevis had a new Administration and during the meeting the IMF team looked at government’s programmes for the next five years and gave advice on Nevis’ debt and its fiscal performance. They basically suggested that the NIA exercise caution in the way it move forward.
“Of course this Administration has an agenda of people empowerment which to a certain extent, would have an impact on the Recurrent side in the Budget over the next five years which means, we have to look at ways and means how we (NIA) could develop economic activity on the island so that we could sustain the level of development that we expect from the programmes outlined by this Administration,” Mr Lawrence said.
The team headed by Mr David Robinson, had arrived in the Federation on Thursday October 5th, 2006 and is expected spend two weeks. While in the Federation, they are expected to also meet with officials of the various banks, the financial services sector, the private sector including the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce and any other group interested with meeting the team.

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