Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 29th 2015 Contents A18
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 29, 2015
The Chaguanas Chamber of
Commerce is calling on commer-
cial banks to show greater
accountability in the disburse-
ments of foreign exchange. This
statement was made by Richie
Sookhai, the chamber president,
when he addressed the chamber s
annual Christmas function on
Friday night at Signature Hall,
Sookhai asked, "Five hundred
million dollars injected into the
banking system by the Central
Bank and where has it gone?
"I do support government s view
that this cannot be done every
Monday morning, we have to be
cautious with our foreign exchange
reserves especially in times of low
oil and gas prices." Sookhai said
traffic congestion and the slow
pace of public services were stifling
businesses in Central.
He said Chaguanas businessmen
were being kept from expanding
because of delays in getting con-
struction permits and receiving
clearance approvals from Town
and Country Planning.
Trade and Industry Minister
Paula Gopee-Scoon told the gath-
ering that the Government was
also concerned about foreign
She said, "I will only say that
this matter continues to be closely
monitored by our administration."
Gopee-Scoon said that at
Thursday s post-cabinet media
briefing Acting Prime Minister
Colm Imbert elaborated on the
matter and the Government s will
to restore normalcy.
Gopee-Scoon called on the pri-
vate sector to continue to invest
and take calculated risks. She said
the avenue was open for invest-
ment in several areas to diversify
the economy. She said investments
should be in areas of the creative
arts, maritime services, financial
services, aviation services, software
design and application, agro-pro-
cessing and tourism.
Gopee-Scoon suggested the cre-
ation of an agro-processing facility
at Factory Road, Chaguanas.
CHARLES KONG SOO
Dennis Fakoory, chairman of the
Fakoory Group of Companies, says
there may not be a need for austerity
measures such as devaluing the T&T
dollar or going to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) if a proper
and efficient public procurement
system is implemented.
He was responding to several ques-
tions posed to him by the Sunday
Guardian, at his office in Chanka
Trace and El Socorro Extension, on
Given that the US$500 million that
was injected into the banking system
by the Central Bank had already been
used up by the business community
in a short space of time, Fakoory was
asked whether there was speculation
by some business people who might
engage in the practice of hedging,
hoarding or the banking of US cur-
rency abroad, as they feared a deval-
uation of the TT dollar to $9.50 to
one US dollar and its implications.
Fakoory said, "Whether or not
business people or citizens in general
have foreign exchange accounts either
in T&T or abroad, I don t think it
may have been with the intention or
the expectation that there is going
to be a devaluation in the currency.
"My reason for this assumption is
that prior to the collapse of oil prices,
you would not have heard of anyone
speaking about a devaluation with
any sort of urgency in the T&T dollar
and that this practice may have start-
ed even when the price oil was at
US$100 a barrel.
"It is obvious more than ever that
with the collapse in the oil prices
that the availability of foreign
exchange is now going to be even
more critical, but that is just one
"The other issue that we have to
confront is if the currency does deval-
ue how it will impact on the citizens
of the country and whether we as a
people have the fortitude and disci-
pline to deal with the hardships."
He said that if the Government of
the day were to manage public pro-
curement in an efficient manner
where it was transparent and savings
could be realised, there might not be
any need for a devaluation in the
Fakoory said it was no hidden fact
that the way public procurement was
managed in T&T in the last ten to
15 years resulted in a lot of wastage
He said even before starting dis-
cussions about a devaluation, plug-
ging the leaking areas of the financial
vessel was needed first.
Fakoory said if this was done, a
devaluation might not be necessary.
However, if it was deemed necessary,
the margin of adjustment might be
so small that the nation would be
able to tolerate it.
Banks must disburse
having to go to IMF
Better procurement practices...
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