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Tough times ahead

KINGSTON — Some of Jamaica’s business leaders have cautioned that there could be tough times ahead as a result of the delay in the signing of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

However, they said persons should not panic, but instead throw their support behind the Government.

The leaders’ call came a day after Finance Minister Peter Phillips admitted that Jamaica would not sign an agreement with IMF this year.

Christopher Zacca, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, said confidence in the country would continue to slip unless the IMF deal is dealt with quickly.

“There is a feeling of helplessness in the private sector because we have no sense of what the nitty-gritty details of the sticking points are and how far away we are from the IMF in the various positions.

“If we are to continue to support the government team, it is full time that they share these nitty-gritty details at whatever levels of the private-sector leadership that are appropriate,” he said.

“We think the entire Government needs to have a strong show of support to back up Minister Phillips and his team. We are not getting enough of different Cabinet ministers coming out and speaking about the need for fiscal discipline,” he said.

Brian Pengelley, president of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, said additional tax measures are not to be seen as one of the solutions to better the financial standings of the country. (Gleaner)

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