MP Lee sympathizes with Chambers of Commerce and calls for Government to Address Foreign Exchange Shortage
In an effort to effectively represent one of the most critical concerns of our national public I sought leave to move the adjournment of the sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday 19th February 2016 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely: “The crippling effects of the restricted access to foreign exchange by businesses and individuals.”
The matter is a definite one for concern as it pertains to the current situation faced by businesses and individuals who are constrained by the minimal and nominal amounts of foreign exchange made available to them for purchase from commercial banks in Trinidad and Tobago. The various Chambers of Commerce such as those representing San Fernando, San Juan, Couva/ Point Lisas and Chaguanas have all confirmed that businesses within their respective regions have been facing this unfortunate dilemma.
It is of public importance to have this issue rectified as soon as possible, as failure to do so will result in businesses and individuals being unable to honour their contractual and financial obligations to foreign suppliers.
Further perpetuation of this situation presents disastrous repercussions such as; the collapse of businesses, the loss of jobs, the destabilization the economy, a loss of confidence in Trinidad and Tobago by foreign investors and suppliers as well as an unprecedented plethora of social problems.
It is important to note that one of the major concerns raised by the Heads of the respective Chambers was the allegations of inequitable distribution of Foreign Exchange by the Central Bank. Therefore it is pertinent to the sustainability and protection of our National Economy that both Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance implement mechanisms which are geared to not only reducing the shortage of Foreign Exchange but ensuring equity as it relates to its distribution.
This issue remains one of critical predominance to the economic and social framework of our nation and I will continue to champion this cause until Government is able to provide not only a timeline but a sustainable plan to alleviate this situation.
Dr. David Lee
Member of Parliament
Pointe a Pierre