Currency Declaration Bill - Toothless?
The so called Currency Declaration Bill that they will be passing at the Parliament this session is a toothless bill for the main reason that those currency smugglers will be doing it not through the airports but through 'transfer pricing' either when one is exporting or importing goods to and from the Solomon Islands. Some of these importers are actually hoarding their cash in their offices or residences and all the way their bank accounts are empty and they will only make a huge deposits two or three days before they open a letter of credit and after that, their account will be empty again. Further, if they bought the goods for say, the amount equivalent to SBD-$1.00, they will ask their overseas suppliers to charge 50% more which will be credited later on to their foreign accounts. Some exporters, will export their good on the false pretense that their buyers will pay by T/T but after shipments, little amount or no money at all remitted into their local accounts. These people when they travel overseas will not carry much cash into their wallet as their money was already hidden overseas. The best for our parliamentarians to do is pass a bill that criminalize transfer pricing and not to allow anyone to open a letters of credit if their bank accounts are empty for the last three months. By this way, the money will be deposited in the banks and not kept under the pillows. All government agencies mkust ensure that prices of all exports confront with the current world market prices and not sold below as surely there's a transfer pricing being done. This is the way forward and not the useless so called Currency declaration Bill. No one will bring out of the country any Solomon Dollars as it is not accepted overseas and for foreign currencies, our local banks doesn't have enough to sell to travellers. So what currency to declare? Nothing!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Sri Ramon Jun QUITALES, 11 and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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