By: Shukria Kohistani
A number of residents of Kabul city who are living in poor condition of life are asking the government to change trade market to the benefit of ordinary people in the country.
Following unprecedentedly falling of the value of Afghani against the US dollar, ordinary Afghans have faced with challenges in Afghan markets. A number of Afghans say with the Afghani incomes they cannot afford to pay for all expenditures.
Currently, Afghan families need to provide US dollar for renting house or apartment in big cities including Kabul, the capital. Besides, most trade transactions and dealings are finalized with US dollar rather than the Afghani. So far, no relevant government institutions have taken steps towards addressing the problem.
“Falling unprecedentedly the value of Afghani against US dollar has created increasing concerns among the country’s ordinary people as most businesses and dealings are with US dollar,” said Nizamudin, a government employee in Kabul.
He added that falling the value of Afghani against US dollar has caused increasing problems to ordinary citizens of the country.
Tamana, another resident of Kabul says one of the main challenges Afghan people are facing is poverty and that most people do not have shelter and homes; therefore, they need to live in rented houses or apartments. According to Tamana, falling the value of Afghani against US dollar in recent weeks has created various problems to the people.
“Both low income mostly in Afghani and falling unprecedentedly the value of Afghani against dollar have caused increasing challenges and problems in all parts of today’s life in the country,” Tamana said, adding that on first day of each month we need to first change Afghani to US dollar to pay for the rent of the house we are living.
With the rise of US dollar’s value, the price of foodstuffs has increased recently and people cannot affort to buy them in market as most families and employees of government offices and private companies earn more in Afghani. The rising value of the dollar allows them to meet their lower needs with the income of the Afghan currency.
Afghan economists believe that the value of Afghani is set with injection of US dollar; therefore, most Afghans are trying to use dollar in businesses. Although the people are independent in using the foreign currencies, the government particularly the central bank can measure a proper mechanism in using the domestic currency.
A number of Afghan economists are suggesting the central bank to ban businesses with foreign currencies to change the situation.
Meanwhile, the country’s Central Bank says the bank is working to further increase the use of Afghani in businesses. Officials of the bank have stressed that they have launched continued campaign to increase the use of Afghani across the country. It is worth mentioning that Afghani’s value has unprecedentedly fallen against dollars following surge in Taliban attacks and violence across the country. In Kabul currency market, one US dollar is now exchanged for 81.60 Afghanis. Over the past three days, one US dollar was exchanged for 82.10 Afghanis. This figure shows that the devaluation of the Afghani in recent years is unprecedented despite that the country’s central bank injects from $30 – $50 million to market three times a week to keep the Afghani value stable.