Govt, Central Bank in talks on money concerns

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.

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