Somali saying has it, “Ka dar oo dibi dhal” ( doing more harm). It is doubtful that this recommendation or decision would make any difference in the monetary crisis in Puntland. The Distinguished Committee’s recommendations will exacerbate the problem by adding to the inflation while they won’t address the crisis. It was necessary to study the problem from the perspective of why Puntland alone experiences this crisis -how Somaliland does handle monetary and exchange rates and issues. Why doesn’t the problem exist in other parts of Somalia?
Instead of sanctioning an amount “less than $1” to pay for goods and services in So. Sh., they would have recommended less than $10. This would have made sense in three ways:
1. It would have curtailed inflation. Under the Committee’s recommendations, the $1 would jump up to a minimum unit to pay for goods and services in Puntland.
2. It would have prevented the repeat of previous Puntland Government’s mishandling of the issue.
3. This would have encouraged and promoted the use and circulation of Somali Shilling in the marketplace.
There are a lot of services happening under $1, including city public transportation, charity to the poor, shoe polishing etc. – goods and services without which cities in Puntland can’t operate.
Finally, the Committee would have recommended for the establishment of organized and officially registered money exchange centres throughout the State.
(Above picture text in Somali: public notification from Golis Communications).
PS: Eyewitnesses reports from Garowe said public transit was in standstill this morning as a result of this wrong-headed decision.