Indian-Origin Central Bank Governor Fired For Being ‘Discourteous’

Jwala Rambarran

Jwala Rambarran, Indian-origin Central Bank Governor of Trinidad and Tobago, has been removed for being “discourteous” to the government by making public details about foreign exchange and recession.

The 47-year-old embattled governor, the second person of Indian-origin to get the nod for this position, was in controversy after he announced on December 4 that the twin-island republic is officially in a recession and disclosed the names of companies that are the biggest foreign exchange buyers.

Acting president Christine Kangaloo signed off on the dismissal in the absence of President Anthony Carmona who is overseas.

“Cabinet took the decision after very careful deliberations,” Minister of Finance Colm Imbert was quoted as saying by caribbean360 as saying.

Mr Rambarran was expelled on a recommendation from Cabinet, the minister said. Former bank deputy governor Alvin Hilaire has been named as his replacement.

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The minister was among those who harshly criticised Mr Rambarran for the statements he made as he addressed the Fifth Monetary Policy Forum.

Imbert said the Governor was “discourteous” for making the announcement before communicating the situation to government first, in keeping with the Central Bank Act.

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce had accused Mr Rambarran of betraying business’ confidence by giving the details of foreign exchange purchasers.

Former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who appointed Mr Rambarran three years ago amid criticism that he was chosen over officials with better qualifications, accused the People’s National Movement (PNM) administration of victimisation.

“I am shocked, but not surprised at the decision of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to instruct the acting president to fire Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambaran,” she said in a statement.

She accused the government of entrapment, contending that Mr Rambarran made the disclosures which have now cost him his job only after Ms Imbert asked the Central Bank to provide information on how the recent release of foreign exchange was distributed and indicated that such information would be made public.

Updated : NEW YORK Updated 12/28/2015 14:50:47 EST

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