World Bank team visits Antigua
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Monday December 12, 2011- A World Bank team arrived here today to continue preparatory work on a project that will assist the government with public sector transformation, labour market policies and social protection.
The project will be implemented over a three-year period at an estimated cost of US$20 million.
The delegation will be meeting with a cross-section of government officials to finalise the project document. The mission ends December 16.
Several weeks ago, government received a US$3 million European Union grant to strengthen its revenue administration and public financial management.
That programme, to be managed by the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will be available from January to be used over a thirty-month period.
It stipulates a mid-year budget review process as part of efforts to have more accurate estimates.
“The goal of the project is to strengthen and modernize fiscal institutions so that the government can successfully implement a reform programme with the aim of restoring fiscal sustainability,” a government statement explained.
Government was receiving financial assistance from an IMF Standby Arrangement, but this was put a hold following a bank bailout in July.
Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell said the fund wants proof that government can repay the IMF loan and meet its commitment to ABI Bank, which received assistance in July this year.
Government has received more than half of the EC$300 million (US$111 million) from the IMF since the arrangement took effect last year.