At a press conference on Thursday President Santokhi said that the exchange rate will be stabilized by implementing a package of measures. Consultations have been held with all those involved and the proposals will be made this week. The exchange rate regime must also be adjusted, because the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opted for a floating rate, in which the governor of the Central Bank of Suriname (CBvS) does not determine the rate, but only notes it. The weighted average rate is SRD 28.83 for the US dollar and SRD 27.04 for the euro.
Santokhi said that there is an explosive growth in demand for US dollars. In 2020, consumer goods needed US$9 million, now demand has grown by more than 100%, Santokhi said. The same goes for oil imports. Those have increased by US$100 million, requiring more dollars. The war in Ukraine has also contributed to the rise in prices of goods.
In addition to world market prices, according to the president, there are also large differences in goods that are brought in by importers and that are requested in the store. The differences are also large. One of the focuses of the government is to import basic goods cheaply. Two working groups will be installed on Tuesday, the president announced. One will focus on cheap imports of basic goods and the other on effectively controlling prices This will be done in close cooperation with the importers.
The head of state explains that, in his previous annual speech it had been announced of a policy shift which is now aimed at bringing relief and tackling the poverty issue. That is why renegotiations are underway with the International Monetary Fund to temporize the timeline of measures. A technical team has been set up for the social program and social safety net. Oli-Moni will also be included in this technical team, to be integrated into the social program, the president announced.