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Debt reduction program gets strong support - SKN Finance Minister

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Harris-at-PCBasseterre, St. Kitts, 4th August, 2017 (MyVueNews.com) - The Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, said the country was able to pay off its debt to the IMF and make an overall downward adjustment to the public debt.

 

Speaking at his press conference on Wednesday, 2nd August, Prime Minister Harris said the Team Unity Government reduced the public debt by 13 percent, since the change of government in February 2015.

 

He indicated that $228.5 million was paid to bring down the public debt. 

 

Harris commented, “It is well known that we inherited a very high debt and that part of our fiscal response is to reduce it.  In this regard, by… 2016 [we had repaid]…a total of $117 million of the over $225 million contracted with the bail-out with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, 2011.  We paid off the IMF debt, expedited the pay-off.”

 

Harris also pointed to comments made about the the country’s debt management. He said the recent IMF Staff Report stated that the federation was on track to reach the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s debt to GDB target in 2018, ahead of the 2030 debt target of 60 percent of GDP.

 

According to the summary report, “St. Kitts and Nevis attained the strongest growth and fiscal performance in the ECCU region in recent years.

 

“This, of course, is excellent news. This, of course, indicates that we are doing better than most. This, of course, speaks well to our approach to fiscal and economic management.  And it is coming, not from me, in fact, it is coming from the most important global entity reporting on fiscal and economic affairs, that is, the IMF,” Dr. Harris stated.

 

Such positive remarks coming from the IMF is evidence of their support for the country’s management of the economy, Dr. Harris said.



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