Government is not going to adjust the exchange rate in order to keep the inflation rate down.
So said Finance Minister, Colm Imbert.
Speaking at the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) Post-Budget Discussion at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port-of-Spain on Tuesday, Imbert said as soon as the foreign exchange rate is adjusted, there will be demands from the labour sector and it will be difficult to oppose those demands.
“If you devalue the currency and let it move by 50 or 30 per cent, or whatever number it is, then the labour unions will say alright, the cost of living has gone up and inflation just hit 20 per cent, because you did that and now, we want a 20 per cent increase. So it also helps with dealing with collective bargaining. So, at this time, this Government is not going to adjust the exchange rate,” Imbert explained.
Imbert added: “There is an appetite to buy foreign goods, there is a demand for foreign exchange, and you have shortages. I met with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday (Monday) and I asked them to give me some ideas and suggestions on how we deal with the forex problem we have. I met with the commercial banks, and I asked them for some ideas. I have been given some excellent proposals and I have also asked the EximBank to give me some ideas as well.”
He gave the assurance to the population that a solution will be arrived at.