Central bank

It is with concern that I have noticed in a newspaper that the US dollar spending limit on credit cards issued by Republic Bank Ltd has been lowered from US$12,000 to US$10,000.

This means the Central Bank governor is causing businesses to have less access to foreign exchange for their use when, according to the Central Bank, this country’s net foreign reserves were US$6.86 billion at the end of January in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund.

I am calling on the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister to correct this situation, as former governments have used ECO forms when there was a shortage of foreign exchange.

Importers were asked to submit to the Central Bank their Customs Entries for the previous year in order to get foreign exchange for the entire year on ECO forms. Each company would, therefore, receive their allocated amount on the ECO forms to submit to their bankers.

Such a system has not been implemented by the Central Bank, which is causing chaos for businesses, as they now have to deal as many as eight banks to get a small amount foreign exchange.

This inevitably leads to the late payment to foreign suppliers. This situation is also leading to the retrenchment of workers.

Because of the US$6.86 billion the Central Bank is holding in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund, there should not be a shortage of foreign exchange.

This is why I recommend that for this year, 50 per cent of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund be used, leaving roughly US$3 billion in reserve until next year, as the minister of energy and energy affairs stated that income from oil and natural gas, our country’s main income earners, will improve in 2022.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Digging up into the drinking habits of cricketers of yore has been quite a sobering exercise. The frequency of boozing was at levels that could easily qualify a majority of them as alcoholics. I am not talking solely of West Indian cricketers here

More than a week after the terrifying explosion at the NiQuan gas-to-liquids plant in Pointe-a-Pierre, residents in the immediate surroundings in Marabella were on the streets again this past Wednesday.

THE Covid-19 pandemic will cause the demise of some businesses, especially in tourism, hospitality and personal services. Other businesses, notably traditional media (newspapers and television) and mobile telephone companies have been under severe pressure for some time due to technological change.

Womantra and the 2 Cents Movement have both survived firestorms of social media criticism that they allegedly mishandled accusations of either sexual harassment, gender-based violence or sexual grooming perpetrated by persons in positions of leadership. Ironically, both organisations are engaged in much needed work which can fundamentally change our cultural landscape, but they risk being perceived as part of our systems of oppression.

I refer to a letter by Noel Kalicharan in the Express on Thursday (Page 15) in which he quotes from the AstraZeneca vaccine insert, “Currently there are limited data on the efficacy of Vaxzevria in individuals aged 55 and older.

Napolean Hill, the American author who focused on positivity and success, said, “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

Undoubtedly, these are very trying times during this covid pandemic