The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government is seeking more than six million US dollars in emergency financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Monday.

He told a news conference that a letter of intent would be sent to the Washington-based financial institution and he is hopeful that the funds would be disbursed in June when the IMF board of directors meets to discuss the request.

“I am making a request for emergency financing from the IMF amounting to 4.15 million special drawing rights (SDR), equivalent to US$6.4 million. I am asking for 25 per cent of our quota under the Rapid Credit Facility … which is five years with three and a quarter years grace period at 1.13 per cent interest”.

Gonsalves told reporters he held talks with an IMF delegation that had visited the island “at our request” and the use of the funds “as I am saying in the letter is for rehabilitation.

“The IMF assistance will meet the urgent foreign exchange needs stemming from the disaster and ease the pressure on our balance of payments,” he said, adding that the funds would represent a blend between the Rapid Credit Facility and the Rapid Financing Instruments.

Gonsalves was insistent that the island would not be entering into any agreement with the IMF that would result in structural adjustments to the island’s macro-economic policy.

“This is not any money with any conditionality,” he said, telling opposition politicians that they have no idea as to how the IMF functions.

He recalled that in 2011, the island benefitted from two Rapid Credit facilities from the IMF because of the destruction caused by the hurricane and tropical storms in that year.

Gonsalves said the funds being sought would help the island in its recovery from the last Christmas floods where damages and losses were estimated hundreds of millions of dollars.

“As the World Bank pointed out 15 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) is the damage and loss, but the damage is 12 per cent of GDP and the loss is three per cent. The actual physical damage is US$86.3 million and the loss US$22 million …

“But we used the figure of EC$330 million (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents) because the World Bank figure … which the IMF has accepted, … does not include 24 million dollars for forestry and the World Bank had underestimated the extent of the damage and the loss to agriculture to just under two million dollars when in fact the Food and Agriculture Organisation had shown it to be eight million dollars…”

Meanwhile, Gonsalves said that the local economy had grown by estimated 2.4 per cent and recalled he was scoffed at when he told legislators that the economy would have grown by at least two per cent last year.

He said preliminary figures released by the Department of Statistics in the Ministry of Finance and Planning showed that the economy had indeed grown to 2.4 per cent last year as compared with 1.2 per cent the previous year.

“This year, 2014, I had said in our budget that we will expect to get in the region of about two per cent or thereabouts, of course we can get more, less, depending on how we implement our programme,” he said, noting that the economic growth last year was much better than what had been recorded by several Caribbean countries.

(CMC) 

4 replies on “SVG seeking IMF funds for emergency financing”

  1. Peter Binose says:

    Where are our ALBA friends where is the PETROCARIBE cheap money. Why do we need the IMF when we have got such wonderful friends.

    Remember Venezuela dropped us in the do do by failing to pay the Cuban wages at the airport project. Its a disgrace.

    Remember all those members of the coalition of the willing, who were unwilling, just a pipe dream, or a downright lie. Its a disgrace.

    How on earth can the economy have grown by 2.4% when we have no income, no industry, no agriculture, and a failing tourism industry.

    We also have a government that spend more than $6 million a year travelling and getting involved in all sorts of crap that we should stay out of and save money. Its a disgrace.

    Is the 2.4% something to do with the Marxism massage or Maurice Bishops special book keeping techniques, or perhaps its simply the application of Obeah?

    I need to ask the questions because we heard the cries “ I am her to complete the work of Maurice Bishop” “If I do Obeah I only do Obeah for the Lord” Its a disgrace.

    There are all sorts of people dropping behind with being paid their wages again. Its a disgrace.

    Nurses have not been paid for uniform or shoe replacement for up to 4 years. Can you imagine treating people in such a noble profession in this way? Its a disgrace.

    There are still about 60 people not paid for their land at Argyle. Its a disgrace.

  2. Urlan Alexander says:

    The PM is the only politician in SVG knows how the IMF operates. That is why he said that SVG is no colony of the IMF. Now that he needs to sink the country more in depth he runs to the colonial imperialist institution for restitution. The Money he seeks is a loan that will have to be borne by the taxpayers and which will also take away from the other important services that the government is suppose to offer the citizenry of SVG.

    Lord Help Us To Get Rid Of This Blight Out We Life.

  3. Is that 2.4% growth before or after inflation? Does it include construction at Argyle? I don’t see any real growth in SVG…..people are still not spending money apart from the necessities & ludicrous amounts on cell phones. Just as an aside, why can’t import duties for cars of 1L or less be reduced to say, 10%……makes sense to me.

  4. C. ben-David says:

    1. This PM is sinking SVG under a mountain of debt.

    2. Like many others, I don’t trust government record keeping or book keeping.

    3. SVG needs a Auiditor General who is totally independent of the government of the day, who has a budget sufficient to identiify all manner of mismanagement, misappropriation, misspending, corruption, etc., who can actually initiate prosecution or removal of those guilty of malfeasance or dereliction of duty, and who can force the government to eliminate wasteful or illegal practices.

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