The Houthi parliament approved a law banning usurious transactions, despite local and international warnings

English - Wednesday 22 March 2023 الساعة 08:26 am
Sana'a, NewsYemen, exclusive:

The Parliament of Sana'a, which is under the control of the Houthi group, approved, on Tuesday, the law "preventing usurious transactions", despite the objections of some of its members and the warnings launched by local and international bodies about the repercussions of applying the law to the financial and banking sector.

According to what was published by the "Saba" agency, which is under the control of Iran's arm, members of the Sana'a parliament claimed the importance of the law and that it comes "in response to God's commands and prohibitions in promoting transactions in accordance with the principles and values of tolerant Islamic law."

The allegations of the Houthi agency were refuted by Parliament member Ahmed Saif Hashed in his Facebook posts, in which he revealed that a number of parliament members objected to the law and withdrew from the session discussing the law, and that one of them confirmed that the law "was detailed in a way that targets depositors' funds and is not a law for the future."

Hashed clarified that the vote that took place today on the law submitted by the Houthi government, instead of voting on the amendments approved by the joint committee formed by the council, the most important of which is that the law does not come into force until after setting up a mechanism that guarantees depositors to recover their money from banks.

Considering that refusing this does not only indicate tampering with the financial rights of citizens in banks, "rather, it will lead them into an unknown situation that will end with the seizure of all the money deposited in those banks and banking institutions, and even the "plundering" of their money, and renouncing the simplest guarantee, obligation or control to recover it.  According to him.

Hashed referred to a letter sent by the Yemeni Banks Association to the Sana'a Parliament, which indicated the banks' inability to pay the deposited funds, and that the guarantor central bank could not meet the payment.

The latest report issued by the Committee of Experts of the UN Security Council issued last February warned of the danger of applying the law, and said that this makes commercial banks in Yemen face the risk of bankruptcy and closure.

The report of the Committee of Experts also warned that the application of this law by the Houthi group to commercial banks in the areas under its control, in contrast to the situation in the liberated areas, would lead to "a complete division of the banking and financial sector in Yemen."  Considering that the group's actions against the economy have become a serious threat to peace, security and stability in Yemen and require urgent international intervention.

According to specialists, the Houthi group seeks to achieve several goals behind the application of the law, foremost of which is getting rid of the public debt and its interest, or what is known as treasury bills, amounting to about 1.7 trillion Yemeni riyals (about 3 billion dollars according to the exchange rate in Sanaa), in addition to destroying the banking sector and making room for  The scope for its affiliated exchange companies or the creation of new banks as an alternative.