Government’s poor handling of the economy has resulted in the country experiencing a shortage of foreign currency and the Central Bank and the Ministry of finance are frantically searching for measures to avoid a national crisis.
The political opposition, however, has warned that announced plans to “tighten foreign currency trade” will have “devastating consequences.”
The PPP, in a statement, said government’s move “will lead to more capital flights, greater hoarding of foreign currency and even less foreign and local investments.”
The Party said the current foreign exchange problems stem from bad policies of the government which are “sapping confidence in the economy.”
The full text of the statement reads:
After denying for weeks that there is a shortage of foreign currency in the economy, Minister Joseph Harmon at last Thursday post-Cabinet briefing, finally admitted to a paucity of foreign exchange in the country. As a result, the government has announced plans “to tighten foreign currency trade.” The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) warns that any attempt to control the flow of foreign currency in the economy will have devastating consequences. Any such measure will be counter-productive and will lead to more capital flight, greater hoarding of foreign exchange and even less foreign and local investments. PNC governments in the past have travelled this path before with destructive consequences on trade and commerce in the country. On the other hand, we have witnessed how the economy grew and how the Private Sector rapidly expanded in an environment of economic liberalization and free trade.
In the circumstances, we call upon the Government to stave off its plans to impose restrictions and undue regulations on the movement and circulation of foreign exchange in the economy. Rather than blame the Private Sector and foreign companies for the shortage of foreign currency in the country, the Government should first accept its mismanagement of the economy and recognize that the shortage of foreign currency is due not only to its incompetence but also to its regime of policies and measures which are undermining the private sector, destroying commerce and trade and sapping confidence from the economy; replacing it with fear, intimidation and uncertainty.