Yet another religious organisation is calling on Government to adjust its time frame for the recall of the old $100 bills for the new polymer notes.
Acting secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Vijay Maharaj, son of the late Satnarayan Maharaj, has threatened to take the State to court over the demonetisation of the $100 note in favour of new polymer notes.
Now, TT Council of Evangelical Churches public relations officer Rev Winston Mansingh stated while the change to the polymer notes is a “great initiative”, he described the timing as ‘horrible” and “unrealistic.”
In an open letter to religious, corporate and other national leaders, he said they must “raise your voices and demand an extension of the time to exchange the $100 notes.”
“Our nation seems to be at a tipping point with high crime, economic uncertainty and challenges, failed governance systems, failed and apparent corrupt political personalities and now with policies which are not properly thought out and or implemented.”
“The present matter of changing of the $100 notes needs to be treated with and an extension given and announced immediately by government.”
“Again let me say it is a great initiative but horrible timing and unrealistic time frame.”
Mansingh said the “hopeful outcomes of reduced money laundering, removal of counterfeit notes, exposing of some criminal elements and others would all be welcome if attained.”
“However the impact on the elderly has been a nightmare. They have been exposed to the inconvenience of extremely long lines at banks, having to travel or hire cars to bring them out, asking their children to take days off to bring them to banks and not to mention braving both the hot sun and then heavy rain.”
He said financial institutions should be more caring in treating with customers, especially the elderly who are “already afraid of the process and of the outcome.”
He also noted there would be a negative impact on businesses, especially small retailers, who had a bad economic year and be anticipating the Christmas season to attract additional sales.
He said religious bodies would also to feel the impact of this decision as the Christmas season is a time of giving where donations are collected and brought in to treat with community and social outreach initiatives to the less fortunate and vulnerable.
“Also given the deadline date and the fact that almost all churches have services and collect an offering on Old Year's night the receiving old $100 notes becomes a reality and changing same would be a challenge if the present policy is not amended or extended.”
He said the ministers of finance and national security and the Central Bank governor have an opportunity to put the plight of the vulnerable on the front-burner and to make a decision that demonstrates “care, consideration, humanity and sensitivity."
“I have all confidence that the people and country would be placed before personal and party agenda and or vendettas.”