Finance Minister Colm Imbert was up to yesterday still seeking options to help business people and those without bank accounts who may have old $100 notes come December 31.
Government was in talks with the Central Bank and commercial banks on what could be offered to deal with whatever old $100 notes are presented at the December 31 submission deadline. However as of yesterday the deadline for submission of the old paper-based bills remained December 31, Imbert told in Parliament.
The minister was responding to Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh’s query on whether business owners can deposit old notes from December 31 transactions on the next banking day, January 2, 2020. Indarsingh also asked what would be in place for people without bank accounts such as doubles, saheena and pholourie vendors, grass cutters and fishermen.
It was the latest bid to get clarification from Government on issues concerning the paper-based $100 notes which will be replaced by polymer ones. The changeover from paper to polymer is the basis of Government’s latest anti-crime plan to flush out criminal elements, cut off funding of gang s and “take the profit out of crime.”
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, replying to Opposition questions, said the national security initiative to have new notes arose in 2017 and the first correspondence on the matter was that year. The actual placement of the order for polymer banknotes was this year.
Sources said Cabinet will likely discuss the next step on the matter and whether the deadline can be extended—as many have clamoured for—how much information National Security has unearthed from the exercise and what options may be implemented to improve the situation for the public.
Yesterday there were long lines of people at banks seeking to deposit and change the old bills.