The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwi constituency in the Ashanti region, Simon Osei Mensah, is calling on the Bank of Ghana to take a second look at its measures to halt the depreciation of the cedi against major trading currencies.
According to him, the ‘anti-dollar measures’ will not only discourage people from depositing their monies at the banks, but also not a feasible venture.
The Bank of Ghana, last Monday, announced a number of measures to nip the increasing dollarization of the economy in the bud.
Per the measures announced, cash withdrawals over the counter shall only be permitted for travel purposes outside Ghana and shall not exceed US$10,000.00 or its equivalent in convertible foreign currency, per person, per travel. It will be illegal for public and private institutions to trade in dollars.
The measures, which received widespread criticisms, especially by the business community, have been approved by the government.
But Simon Osei Mensah on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Wednesday said the Bank of Ghana’s directive enforcing the use the cedi as the only legal tender in the country, if not reversed, could spell doom for Ghana’s dwindling economy.
He explained that if a lot more people are discouraged from opening foreign accounts, black marketers will take over the economy and the banks will be gravely affected.
The Bosomtwi MP, who is also an economist by profession, further noted that while the Central Bank deserves commendation for the action taken to arrest the cedi, the measures announced are not investor friendly.
“I was expecting that the Bank of Ghana will come out with policies that would encourage people to take their monies to the banks so that it can have control, but with these new measures, we are going back to the things which crippled the country in the past,” the MP stressed.
Simon Osei Mensah, therefore, suggested that people should be allowed to open foreign accounts, but be mandated to transact business in the local currency.
“It’s even in the interest of the Central Bank to encourage people to take their dollars to the banks”, he asserted.