Opposition MP says 'no' to devaluation of TT dollar
Tabaquite MP Dr Surujrattan Rambachan is pleading with Finance Minister Colm Imbert to think hard before deciding to devalue the Trinidad and Tobago dollar.
Rambachan issued a statement on Wednesday in response to the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, who recently met with Minister Imbert to present its recommendations ahead of the 2017/2018 budget to be read on October 2nd.
The Chamber reportedly called for a more dynamic management of the exchange rate to work alongside an inflation goal.
Rambachan said he believes the Chamber’s calls to be misguided.
“The Chamber’s call for the devaluation is a self-serving call and ignores the social composition of the society and especially the ability of over 51% of the working population who earn less than $6000/monthly according to [Central Statistical Office] CSO statistics.”
Sighting the CSO, the MP pointed out that with approximately 80% of consumed items imported, the cost of living will increase phenomenally forcing adjustments upon the middle and lower income sectors of the population.
The Opposition MP said this is “inequitable” and outlined suggestions of his own, to Minister Imbert:
Examine the sources of capital flight
Whether the value of goods being imported are being overvalued
Goods and services which can and must be substituted
The workings of the parallel market for US dollars and the leakage this is causing in terms of foreign exchange not being acquired by formal Financial institutions
Implement serious programs in tourism and agriculture as part of the diversification thrust
Alternative sources of materials as inputs into our manufacturing and retail sectors whilst maintaining quality standards
Encourage diaspora savings in TT in US dollars
Funding for entrepreneurs who can be part of the import substitution strategy
Encourage Caribbean holidays in EC currency thus saving on use of US dollars
Restructure US dollar loans by renegotiating terms of repayment in terms of principal at least for the next five years thus reducing the outflow of US dollars
Educate the population on the current foreign exchange reality
Consider launching a citizen-driven economic restraint strategy which will involve savings in US dollars.