Leader of the Opposition Mark Golding has criticized the government for not making the necessary preparations to aid in the rollout of the digital currency, JAM-DEX which was officially launched in July of last year, but delayed due to technical difficulties among large merchants.
In a video posted on his social media page on Monday (May 29), Golding said: “Once again we see this government creating problems for itself and for the people of Jamaica by making announcements and doing things without the necessary preparation being laid. So we spent billions of dollars to introduce these new bank notes and now we are being told that they can’t be introduced because existing ATM machines cannot accommodate them and would have to be retrofitted and that’s going to be causing further delay.”
Golding further said that while the digital currency is an option for Jamaicans, not many people have bank accounts and access to banking services, therefore it cannot be mandatory for Jamaicans.
“The truth is that digital currency is going to be an option that people can use, it cannot be mandatory, there is nothing in the law to makes it mandatory at this point in time but the way it is being sold, its as if it is imminent and it’s going to replace cash in the near future and of course their is no preparation for that,” he added.
Golding noted Jamaicans have been responding relatively slow in the adoption of digital currency and urged the Prime Minister to implement more ‘measured ways’ in promoting JAM-DEX among citizens.
“The Prime Minister needs to calm down and move in a more measured way and take the people along with a full understanding that it is not going to impair on them or put them at some kind of disadvantage,” Golding said.
The Bank of Jamaica implemented the phased national roll-out of JAM-DEX in 2022 which is part of the Government’s move towards a digital economy.