Now that the prime minister is back, will he rebuke his minister of finance? I mean what’s up with the man in the fi rst place? First he blames the governor of the Bank of Mauritius for his poor performance as minister of finance- the cheek. And then, piqued I suppose by Bheenick’s refusal to tango with him, Duval goes on to force a weakening of the rupee by deciding to purchase US $100 million!
You do know what I am talking about, huh? Ok, last week, Duval presumably thinking that he would defl ate some of the criticism that will come his way regarding our poor economic performance this year- a 3% growth- for the greater good, remember?- decides to blame it all on the Monetary Policy Committee’s recent decision not to further weaken the rupee.
A weaker rupee would have meant that Xavier’s mates who trade in foreign currencies would have been able to bring more money in the country- without actually doing anything, mind. All they actually need to do is lobby buddy Xavier for that bit of serum.
Except that Manou Bheenick doesn’t think a weak rupee benefi ts the likes of you and me - you know, when we buy imported stuff-which constitutes over 80% of our purchase- we end up paying more in real terms because of the exchange rate.
But dear old Xavier doesn’t care. So in an attempt to artifi cially weaken the rupee’s value, he called for bids from banks to buy US $100 million over the coming months, starting with a first purchase of US $10 million. The logic being that this would inflate the price of the dollar compared to the rupee and thus artificially weaken the rupee. Which is what has already happened.
I mean is it me or is there something wrong with this picture? Duval is the minister of finance and Bheenick is the governor of the BOM. As such he is the government’s banker. Yet, Duval bypasses Bheenick, takes goodness knows how much money from our coffers (my maths is very limited) and buys foreign currency from commercial banks behind Bheenick’s back? In a patent violation of the Banking Act?
What is that supposed to mean? To hell with the law when we don’t like it? I control this government and I will do as I please because Ramgoolam can’t afford to reprimand me? So I act as if I am dealing with the Duval family money and I make the rules - and break themas I go along?
I’d like to hear what the prime minister thinks of this. I’d also love to know Nita Deerpalsing’s thoughts on the matter. Don’t ask the others - they wouldn’t know what to think until Ramgoolam has spoken.
And frankly, I wonder what’s taking him so long. I’d also like to know of the banks’ responsibility in colluding with Duval.
Maybe we should call in some favours from the World Bank and they could enquire in the matter?