Jamaica prime minister reports good progress in first 100 days
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday April 18, 2012 – Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has lauded the “good and steady progress” made by her administration in its first 100 days in office.
In a statement from Cartagena, Colombia, where she participated in the recently concluded Sixth Summit of the Americas, Simpson-Miller said that although she knew 100 days was a short time in the life of any government, she was confident that any objective assessment of the government’s achievements would conclude that much had been accomplished.
The prime minister highlighted what she said was a number of her government’s achievements in the economy, security, energy, tourism, health, agriculture, local government, youth and culture, information and communication, education, science and ICT, justice, industry and investment and the controversial Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).
According to Simpson-Miller, the government determined that one of its first orders of business was to put forward its position for a new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “recognising the IMF will play some role in our future, at least in the short to medium term”.
In the area of security, Simpson-Miller pointed to the murder total for March, which was the lowest for any single month in the last nine years. She also noted the decline in sexual offences and the improved rate of recovery of illegal firearms.
The prime minister also pointed out that additional resources in the form of motor vehicles, ballistic vests, tactical uniforms, and motorbikes have been provided to the police.
Simpson-Miller said that a transformation of the energy sector “to bring more players and achieve greater efficiencies and reduced costs to consumers is underway, including interconnectivity arrangements with the Jamaica Public Service Company, to allow those able to generate and supply consumers directly [to be] able to do so”.
In tourism, she pointed to the reopening of the Lovers’ Leap attraction and several resort upgrading projects. She also said that aircraft contract negotiations have been resumed with Russia’s Aeroflot.