House Calls For Urgent Probe Over Currency Depreciation
By Wilfred Gortor, LINA
MONROVIA, July 5 (LINA) – The House of Representatives has expressed dismay over the growing rate at which the Liberian currency is depreciating and has resolved to launch an urgent probe aimed at helping to bring the situation under control.
The House is expected to liaise with authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the Ministry of Finance in a bid to prevent the situation which, it says, is imposing strenuous economy conditions on the people.
The House decision to intervene comes amidst calls from Nimba County Representative, Prince Tokpah, who said in a communication addressed to House Speaker Alex Tyler on Tuesday, that the depreciation of the Liberian Dollar (LD) is also negatively impacting the earning of civil servants.
Tokpah said that since the government arrived at the decision to give 70 percent of civil servants remuneration in LD and the remaining 30 percent in United States Dollars (USD) some employees of government, especially those who are indebted to commercial banks as the result of loan, are experiencing difficulties in repaying their debts.
He said this is so because the CBL current exchange rate stands at L$91 to US$1 while the commercial banks are now using an exchange rate of L$97 to US$1, something which, according to him, is leading to a shortage in the amount being earned by civil servants, especially during the currency exchange process at commercial banks.
Tokpah said that if the situation is not addressed civil servants will be subjected to more economic constraints as the result of growing exchange rate, adding that the CBL should be invited to answer to the depreciation of the Liberian dollar.
Sinoe County Representative Matthew Zarzar, however, urged the House to seek clarity from the CBL and the Ministry of Finance on how to resolve the issue.
He said being responsible for the payment of remuneration to civil servants, the Ministry of Finance can also assist in the provision of remedy to the ongoing situation.