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​State ‘advanced’ towards action

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Government is remaining tight-lipped on its next move concerning Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran and whether it can continue to work with him following Prime Minister Keith Rowley’s stinging statement last Saturday on Rambarran’s actions. 

However, T&T Guardian sources said last night the State is well “advanced” towards action. Following what was tantamount to an indictment, Communication Minister Maxie Cuffie was asked by the T&T Guardian yesterday if  the Government can continue to work with Rambarran and is prepared to do so. He said he had no comment.

Cuffie referred queries to Finance Minister Colm Imbert whom he said has to work with Rambarran. Imbert had no comment. Government’s legal adviser Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi was unavailable. 

However, The T&T Guardian learned that the State is “deep into the management of the situation,” and  was advanced in its deliberations. One source said the Government knew it has to “act with certainty in order to foster and preserve T&T’s financial stability and the economy.”

Rambarran’s media assistant Charlene Ramdhanie didn’t answer calls yesterday, nor did he.

Three years into his five-year term—and barely three months into the new PNM Government’s tenure—the Government has made its displeasure with Rambarran plain, even as it has sought to be circumspect in language. What raised its ire was the Central Bank governor making the politically and financially explosive call that the country was officially He has also been roundly criticised for his revision of the 20-year-old forex system which the new Government asked him to restore to the original system,  and most recently, by big business for revealing which companies use the largest amounts of forex. Several business companies last week complained to Imbert on possible breach of laws.

The two-pronged attack of the last week, culminating in Rowley’s statements on Saturday, has left the impression of a Central Bank governor under siege, and in danger of losing his job.

 Rowley, in a sharp statement, said the situation regarding Rambarran was diminishing public confidence in the Central Bank’s ability  to conduct the public’s business in finance and diminishing public confidence in the “governor himself.”

Rowley was quoted as saying, ”If the Government  allows this to continue unimpeded, it will diminish the population’s confidence in the Government itself.” 

The PM also said there are laws governing the conduct of Central Bank affairs, and if the governor breaches those laws, the Finance Minister would have to look at the matter and the Minister “is looking at these matters.”

Rowley said if Rambarran ends up being removed, it would not be because of action initiated by the Government, but as a result of his ”own series of reckless and illegal actions.”


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