If all had gone as Government planned in Parliament yesterday, UNC MP Ganga Singh’s quip to Finance Minister Colm Imbert might have been the only spotlight moment.
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PM: T&T dealing with liquidity
T&T is one step closer to dealing with liquidity, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told members of the business community on Friday. She said the country is now capable of raising funds in the local market rather than looking for funding internationally.
“There is so much excess liquidity here that our citizens can put their money into the fund, so that we can use the funding here and give a higher return to local citizens only,” Persad-Bissessar said in the feature address at the luncheon during the third PreAnnual Meeting of the Governors of the Inter-american Development Bank (IDB), Caribbean Country Department, at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain.
Later, in an interview, Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran said high liquidity was engaging his attention and groups have been set up to look at ways to alleviate the problem. He said the possibility of the setting up of a fund to satisfy the needs of the wider community is being considered. “The Prime Minister is quite right to point to the situation of excess liquidity, it is an issue that we are addressing right now at the Central Bank through the capital markets development initiative that we have underway,” Rambarran said.
“We actually have the private sector, bank entities like NIB and UTC, looking at how we might be able to structure a fund or possibly two funds to address national infrastructure development needs.” Rambarran said through the capital markets initiative the Central Bank has four groups looking at liquidity. Finance Minister Larry Howai said a possible option is for the public or private sector to use the funds, while at the same time it would give investors a better interest.
“We have not really developed all the mechanisms around that. In terms of the idea the Prime Minister had to develop it for older people, for example, provide them with bonds and so on, the issue with the bonds for older people is that consideration should be given on whether there are any legal restrictions.”
Howai said discussion are ongoing: “The Central Bank had set up several committees to deal with it (liquidity) and they have been in discussions, they have been doing that for a number of months and have been looking at a number of options.”