The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

National currency promotion should be popularized

Foreign currencies have been mostly used in trade and daily transactions, affecting the country’s national currency, Afghani over the last several decades. In the country’s western province of Herat, sharing borders with the neighboring Iran and Nimruz, people mostly used the Iranian toman in their daily transactions, in the country’s eastern province of Jalalabad sharing border with the immediate neighbor of Pakistan and in general, countrywide, U.S. dollar has become more popular even caught the country’s currency markets in the capital Kabul and major cities of the country. Over the past more than twenty years of the so-called democracy-based regimes that imposed free markets on the local bazaars of Afghanistan, no step had been taken to remove the use of foreign currencies from the country. In 1996, when the Islamic Emirate rose to power, ground for the use of foreign currencies became restricted, particularly, police started applying ban from the Islamic Emirate leadership on the use of foreign currencies, in the capital Kabul, where no one could dare to even say he/she had some U.S. dollar, Iranian toman or Pakistani rupee (Kaldar) from the fear of being arrested and taken to jail. But, after the U.S.-backed foreign invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the country, once again, witnessed a crowd of foreign currencies influx into the local markets. Currencies of the neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan overwhelmed the country’s markets, heavily affecting the national currency in the country’s southern and western provinces. After the resumption of power by the Islamic Emirate on August 15, 2021, the related organs once again struggled to prevent the use of foreign currencies in the people’s daily transactions but did not manage to soon control the currency market. Recently, the related officials of the Islamic Emirate stepped up in the popularization of the national currency and a complete ban on foreign ones. In the country’s Nimroz province, money exchangers will no longer process Iranian toman transfers in an effort to reduce transactions with foreign currencies. Money Exchangers Union of the province, as local media reported, has recently announced that it would no longer allow the use of toman of Iran across the province and added ‘from now on, money transferred in Iranian tomans will be converted to Afghani and delivered to customers.’ Reports quoted Gul Ahmad, head of the Nimroz Money Exchangers Union as saying that transfers they receive in the Iranian tomans will be converted to Afghani and then given to the customers, but, in exception for those who were involved in the oil purchase and sale. According to him, since Afghani is the country’s national currency, they were making efforts to raise its value. Now, tomans are very rare in Zaranj, the capital city of the province, except for those engaged in the oil trade who had to still use tomans. The move, if continued and supported by the government official organs of the Islamic Emirate, would benefit both the money exchangers and their customers, as Afghanis have a lower volume, which is advantageous for them. According to the local officials of province, an 80% reduction has happened in the transactions using Iranian tomans in the province, and the locals have informed the money exchangers that those who transfer tomans will receive Afghani instead, in any parts of the province. Most people in the city prefer to use Afghani, as tomans have caused significant losses to the population. In the meantime, economic experts believed that the main aim of converting foreign currency to national currency is to reduce the volume of foreign money in the market and instead have Afghanis in circulation. They said the more our national currency is used in the market and financial exchanges, the more its value increases, thereby enhancing the purchasing power of the people, a local media quoted an expert as saying by anonymity. The provincial Nimroz Urban Committee was established a few months ago, aiming at the reduction of and prevention of transactions with foreign currencies, especially the Iranian toman. The move by the provincial currency market and the efforts of the related organs to help reduce or even ban the use of foreign currencies instead of local ones is commendable and the decision is highly welcomed by the whole Afghans if implemented countrywide. Inam Hashemi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.