ST. GEORGE’S: Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell says the international Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to meet and approve the island’s “Home Grown Structural Adjustment Program” in May.
Following a trip from Washington D.C., where he attended the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank last week, Dr. Mitchell said the international lending financial institution had signaled its desire to meet and approve the package early next month.
He said a senior IMF official, who is likely to chair the meeting, had met with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of finance, Timothy Antoine, on the matter.
“From all indications now it looks like we will be up and running sometime early in May which is an excellent thing for the country as a whole because given the fact that we know people are hurting in every respect we want to start delivering on some of the programmes as early as possible,” said Mitchell.
Last month, the IMF said it had reached agreement in principle with the Grenada government for a three-year US$21.9-million Extended Credit Facility to support a program to correct the island’s fiscal imbalances and lift sustainable growth.
“The agreement reached with the authorities is subject to approval of the IMF’s Executive Board and is contingent upon the timely completion of prior actions to be taken by the Grenadian authorities and obtaining the necessary financing assurances,” said Aliona Cebotari, IMF mission chief to Grenada.
As a result of the IMF agreement, the government has said it would also be able to secure US$100 million in soft loans and grant funding from regional and international lending agencies.
Mitchell described his meetings in Washington as a success and that the IMF had welcomed Grenada’s structural adjustment program.
“I consider the meeting highly successful because basically we were trying to finalize the date of start for the implementation of the programme as far as their side is concerned and the need for the board to meet to conclude on the homegrown programme as far as their support.
“I am more than pleased with the results in the sense that the directors of the IMF that we met, all expressed tremendous support for Grenada’s Homegrown Programme and the fact that we have started implementing some of it and they indicated that they felt we were courageous in what we were doing and because of this they were behind us 100 per cent,” he said.