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Decreasing afghani value irks lawmakers

Decreasing afghani value irks lawmakers

Jan 13, 2018 - 20:27

KABUL (Pajhwok): Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday called as ‘worrisome’ the afghani’s depreciation against the dollar, saying this would worsen economic problems in the country.

However, the afghani gained some value against the US dollar this week, reversing a consistent and unprecedented declining trend during the past two months.

One US dollar jumped to 70 afs during the period from 68 afs, but this week the afghani gained some value and one US dollar was accounted for 69.70 afghanis and 1,000 Pakistani rupees for 618 afghanis against last week's rates of 70afs and 624afs respectively.

Munawar Shah, a member of the Wolesi Jirga commission on the national economy, told today’s session that the decreasing value of the afghani against the dollar was worrisome.

According to him, if no steps were taken for stabilizing the currency’s value, people would face serious economic problems.

“The decreasing value of afghani has its own external and internal factors --- political conflicts, insecurity, reduced foreign aid, dollars’ smuggling to Iran and Pakistan and lack of clear policy of the Central Bank.”

He said until the Central Bank adopted a clear policy, the situation would continue to worsen and the afghani currency would further lose its value and might be accounted for 75 afs against one US dollar.

Lailuma Hakimi, another lawmaker, said: “Had the central bank properly managed the market, the afghani would not have lost its value.”

“All business deals in the country take place in dollars. If the afghani value is not increased, people would face a huge economic catastrophe in the country.”

She said in the past Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) would offer millions of dollars to the market for maintaining the value of afghani; but now either the amount had decreased or some mafia circles had purchased the dollars bring them to market as soon as the dollar’s rate went higher.

Wolesi Jirga speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi also expressed his concern over the decreased value of afghani against dollar, tasking the national economy panel with investigating factors behind the trend.

He also asked the commission to summon officials of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and DAB in this regard.

Earlier, Khalil Sidiq, the DAB head, had said the political turmoil over the past two months was the main factor behind the afghani deprecation, warning it would badly affect people’s economic situation.