Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has dismissed the assurances from the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan that there is no foreign currency shortage in Guyana.
One day after the Finance Minister appeared on the JumpStart morning show on 94.1 FM to assure the nation that the foreign reserves were intact and there is no shortage of foreign currency locally, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo questioned the honesty of the Finance Minister on the issue.
At a press conference of the People’s Progressive Party on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Jagdeo appeared to be convinced that there is a shortage. He said if the Finance Minister wants to be truthful on the issue, he should be looking at the transactions of commercial banks and whether persons are able to buy as much foreign currency as they want for legitimate purposes.
“That is not happening now”, Jagdeo said, while indicating that based on information he has received, the markets are not clearing and only small transactions are being given priority.
Minister Jordan during the radio interview, said the Central Bank of Guyana has not received any reports of a shortage from the Commercial banks. But the Opposition Leader, today said a request should be made of the Central Bank to provide information on the queue of commercial banks that are buying foreign currency from the Central Bank.
Jagdeo said he is almost certain that another queue would be in existence.
According to the Opposition Leader, the Finance Minister needs to be offering solutions in a clear manner that brings relief to those complaining, and not compare Guyana to other countries nearby, that may be having economic issues.
Mr. Jagdeo said already there are predictions that the rate for the U.S dollar locally, could make its way to between $250 and $300.
The Central Bank Governor himself, Dr. Gobin Ganga, has denied reports of any shortage of foreign currency. He has also indicated that the reserves remain stable.
There have been concerns expressed about whether some businesses are starving the economy of foreign currency. The Finance Minister has said that such a situation is possible and is being looked at by the Central Bank.