Inniss denies foreign exchange restriction
Minister of of Trade Donville Inniss has rubbished Opposition claims of a restriction by the Central Bank of Barbados on the amount of foreign exchange allowed to leave the country. The allegation was made by Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley during debate in the House of Assembly today on a bill to raise Government’s loan limit.
In his contribution, Inniss accused Mottley of making reckless and unpatriotic statements, which he warned could further jeopardize the Barbados economy.
“ . . . These statements can cause a lot of damage to this society, particularly when it is proven that they are comments that are not entirely true, comments to the extent that businesspeople in this society are experiencing immense difficulty at accessing funds from the Central Bank of Barbados,” Inniss told the House this evening.
He suggested that the Opposition Barbados Labour Party was merely trying to score cheap political points and putting politics above country.
“When a statement like that is made, particularly if it went unchallenged, one will get the impression that this economy is collapsing and there is a need for a serious run on the foreign exchange in this country,” he added.
But Opposition Member of Parliament Edmund Hinkson, an attorney, was adamant that such a measure was currently in place and had affected some of his overseas clients.
“I know that from a professional point of view that clients of mine who live outside of Barbados who have recently sold their land in Barbados have not been allowed to take more than the equivalent of BDS$100,000 of the sale price out of the country. The sale price might have been BDS$500,000 and the Central Bank had only given them permission to repatriate $100,000 out of the country . . . ,” Hinkson contended.