Jwala must stimulate economic activity
Thursday, July 19 2012
NEW Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran assumed office on Tuesday and from the outset, he will have to hit the ground running in order to deal with the major economic challenges which confront the country at this time.
This was the view articulated by University of the West Indies (UWI) senior economist Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir who was one of the persons who were being considered by the Cabinet to succeed Ewart Williams as Governor.
Mahabir observed: “ The economy is in a difficult position and I expect it to remain so for the medium term, unless there is timely, innovative and aggressive intervention on the part of the fiscal authorities and the Central Bank.”Against this background, Mahabir said: “The new Governor will have to deploy monetary policy in all its guises to stimulate economic activity, and to ensure that situations like the Clico/HCU fiasco do not re-appear.”
“In addition there is much work to be done in the area of financial regulation of non-bank financial intermediaries (insurance companies, credit unions, mortgage companies etc) in our developing economy,” he added. Mahabir said he was looking forward to “a vibrant Central Bank which will contribute significantly to economic revival in the medium term” with Rambarran at the helm.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the appointment of Rambarran as Central Bank Governor last Friday at a news conference at the Magdalena Grand Hotel in Tobago. Williams’ last day in office was Monday and Rambarran assumed his new role as Central Bank Governor 24 hours later.
Rambarran met privately with Williams and Finance and Economy Minister Larry Howai at Howai’s office at the Eric Williams Financial Complex in Port-of-Spain on Monday.
In an interview on July 6, Williams said he hoped to be able to brief his successor about key issues at the Bank before he left office.
In a statement on Monday, the Central Bank’s management and staff congratulated Rambarran on his appointment and welcomed him “to the Central Bank family.” The statement said Rambarran is no stranger to the Bank having worked there for 14 years.
During his tenure at the Bank, Rambarran represented Trinidad and Tobago (TT) as technical assistant in the Office of the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2003. Rambarran left the Bank in March 20004 to assume the position of chief economist at Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB) before embarking on his own business, CAP-M Research. He is currently chairman of the board of directors at the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (Niherst).
Persad-Bissessar said she was advised that Rambarran has “an extensive knowledge and experience of contemporary global and economic and financial issues and understanding of the institutional environment of Central Banks and supra national financial institutions.”
Rambarran said he looked forward to working with Howai in terms of coordinating fiscal and monetary policy in order to strengthen the economy. Howai expressed similar sentiments. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said: “Once there is confidence in the Central Bank everything will be all right, but if the confidence is not there, then there could be serious consequences.”
Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert said Rambarran must not bow to Political pressure or paint a rosy picture of the economy when the facts may reflect otherwise.