Members of Parliament debated the Central Bank of the Bahamas Amendment Bill in the House of Assembly on Monday.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis led debate on the bill which pertained in part to the handling of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) distributed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In his contribution Mr. Davis told Parliament, “the IMF has explicitly outlined that the SDRs are an interest bearing reserve asset allocated to participants to provide unconditional liquidity during challenging times. This allocation was given to countries including ours, we’re not the only country to which this allocation was made, to alleviate funding concerns caused by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. As responsible leaders we are committed to utilizing these funds for their legitimate and intended purpose as prescribed by the IMF.”

The Prime Minister went further stating, “in August of 2021 in recognition that the pandemic was an enormous shock to the global economy the IMF allocated $650 billion worth of Special Drawing Rights. This was the largest, I repeat the largest, and I repeat this word debt free, largest debt free form of support for low and middle income countries.’

The bill passed in the lower house of Parliament with opposition members voting against it. It was sent on to the Senate for debate.