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Indarsingh on forex problems: Government not to blame

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Minister in the Ministry of Finance Rudranath Indarsingh, left, speaks with Couva-Point Lisas Chamber president Lily Heerai and Chaguanas Chamber president Ritchie Sookhai at the launch of the Sugar to Energy Festival on Tuesday. Photo: Vindra Gopaul-Boodan

Minister in the Ministry of Finance Rudranath Indarsingh is calling for dialogue between the business community and commercial banks on problems with the supply of foreign exchange. Speaking at the launch of the Couva-Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce’s Sugar to Energy Festival 2014 in Couva yesterday, Indarsingh said: “Without getting into much controversy I think this is being created by the banking sector. 



“Think they need to be very  true and transparent with the business community because I think the whole process—they want to have control of the process—and I hope with the passage with time it will be resolved as dialogue and discussion continue with all stakeholders.” He said he was certain government policy was not to blame for the problem.


Indarsingh commented on the issue right after Couva businessman Liaquat Ali complained about the problems he was experiencing to get foreign exchange to for business transactions. Ali said his business could soon face difficult times if banks keep squeezing the supply of foreign currency. Indarsingh said Finance Minister Larry Howai, officials of the T&T Manufacturers Association (TTMA)  and Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran were due to meet yesterday to discuss the situation.


Chaguanas Chamber president Ritchie Sookhai wondered what had happened to the foreign exchange the Central Bank said it had put into the system. “The Central Bank is claiming that the commercial banks have it. If we do the maths it may look like distribution may not be filtering to everyone, but then again those are all allegations. I don’t want to confirm or deny anything right now,” he said.