Minister of the Economy, Larry Howai, has dismissed claims by Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley that the Government had attempted to withhold publication of the IMF Article IV Report.
Mr Howai described as “entirely inaccurate”, the claim attributed to the Opposition Leader that the request for the report to be published came one day before the September 9th 2013 National Budget presentation.
According to Minister Howai, The IMF provided the final version of the report to the Ministry on August 29th 2013, and it was subsequently submitted to Cabinet on September 13th for approval to publish.
Dr. Rowley had made the claims at a PNM political meeting…
Mr Howai said Cabinet gave its approval on September 19th and the Ministry conveyed verbal agreement to the IMF to publish the report on September 28th. The report was then published by the IMF on October 3rd 2013.
The Minister added that the report points to a recovery in 2013, with real GDP growth being projected at 1.5 percent; an overall growth of 2.5 percent in the non-energy sector driven by the finance, distribution, and construction sectors and a manageable gross non-financial public sector debt at 39 percent of GDP.”
He said in the light of such favourable findings on the progress made by the PP administration, it was not sensible to suggest that the Government will attempt to withhold publication of the IMF report.