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Trinidad Government Introduces New TT$100 Bill; Muslim Community Concerned

T&T's new polymer $100 bill.

Trinidad Government Introduces New TT$100 Bill; Muslim Community Concerned

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, December 9, 2019 (CMC) — National Security Minister, Stuart Young, last Thursday, announced that the government will be rolling out a new TT$100 bill.

Young said the replacement TT$100 note will be harder to counterfeit, and would also undermine the use of stored cash to fund criminal activity.

He added that the new polymer note would aid in the fight against crime, preventing money laundering, counterfeiting and drug deals.

The new bill is currently displayed on the Central Bank website, will be at the twin-island state’s banks today, and be available to the public tomorrow — as opposed to the usual 30-day period for new bills.

Members of the Muslim community have issued a call to the government to reconsider the decision to implement the new TT$100 note.

According to Imtiaz Ali, the public relations officer of Muslims of T&T, members of the community are concerned that the change will adversely affect Muslims, who don’t use the banking system.

“Many Muslims do not use the current banking system, due to the Quranic prohibition of charging interest. They save their money otherwise. How will they be treated at the commercial banks when they attempt to change their legally-earned money?” asked Ali.

He also said the change would adversely affect small businessmen and taxi drivers, who do not use banks to house their money.

Ali also raised concerns about Muslims, who had been saving money to travel to Hajj – the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca – and questioned if the change would create complications for them.

Meanwhile, the public is being assured that there will be no disruption to their business and personal transactions with the introduction of the new polymer note .

The Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT), last Friday, assured that the changeover from the existing paper note in circulation would see a smooth period of transition.

BATT, which said it is in full support of the change, hailed the move as a strategic development to improve the security features of the note.

The association pointed to benefits in upgrading the note that would protect against forgery, and to facilitate its use by the visually-impaired.

BATT President, Karen Darbasie, welcomed the design upgrade, saying it was in keeping with international best practice.

“The durability and robust security features of the new note are aligned to best practice in global currency design,” she pointed out.

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