Bardo — Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) Mustapha Kamel Nabli said "the independence of the BCT is not hinged on the person of its Governor but rather on the independence of the issuing bank in managing the country's monetary policy."
According to Mr. Nabli, this independence "is not an individual authority;" it rather involves "appropriate technical management of the monetary policy."
He said "the parliament has the possibility to hold the Central Bank Governor to account," a practice adopted by most of democracies of the world.
At a hearing conducted Tuesday by the Finance, Planning and Development Committee at the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), Mr. Nabli said developing Tunisia's monetary policy is one of the assignments of the BCT Executive Board which brings together Government representatives and specialised academics.
The Executive Board of the BCT meets once a month to monitor the monetary policy in the country and decides needed reforms based on the economic situation.
Each month, the Board releases a statement on the economic and financial situation of the country and decides to change or keep unchanged the interest rate.
The monetary policy adopted now by the BCT is open to any change based on circumstances and the economic and financial situation in the country, also said the Governor of the Central Bank.
Mr. Nabli also said keeping the stability of prices is a major target of the BCT monetary policy, in accordance with Article 34 of its status of the year 1958 which gives it power to control credit institutions.
Answering a question by a NCA member, Mr. Nabli denied the bank had undertaken deliberately to "disrupt the Government's action," saying the Bank had, on the contrary, drawn its attention, since March 2012, to the possible impact of the Euro Zone crisis on the Tunisian economy."
"The BCT is making efforts to take decisions which I describe as "appropriate" since they have shown their efficiency, from the very first months of the Revolution and allowed to avoid the collapse of the Tunisian economy," he said.
Mr. Nabli also said the issuing bank is committed to anchor the foundations of good governance in the Tunisian banking sector, pointing to the bank's publication of a relevant circular in June 2011.
To ensure this good governance, BCT should not intervene in the appointment of senior officials whether of public or private banks, he said, adding that this will help ensure a better control.
He also spoke of the classified debt whose amount reached, to late 2011, over 7 billion dinars, i.e. 13% of all loans, saying these debts increase the burden of banks.
Asked on corruption in the BCT, he said these are "baseless rumours and false claims," urging NCA members to present tangible evidence on corruption."