CARACAS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecamaras) on Thursday questioned the continuation of the country's currency controls, saying they aggravated the economic crisis.
In an interview with private news network Globovision, Fedecamaras chief Francisco Martinez said, "the exchange system is one of the main reasons the Venezuelan state is on the verge of bankruptcy. We still don't understand why we don't have transparent and reliable control for all citizens," said Martinez.
The statements came a day after Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Jesus Faria dismissed the idea of scrapping the currency exchange controls that were put in place to ensure the state's supply of dollars and protect the bolivar.
The multi-tiered control system is admittedly complex, with a preferential rate of 10 bolivars to the dollar applied to essential imports and government transactions, and a more free-floating rate that is currently at 704 bolivars to the dollar for the general public and the private sector.
A third black-market rate also comes into play, where the dollar currently goes for 2,770 bolivars.
The system "does not permit the fluid, constant and reliable planning of purchases of raw materials," said Martinez.