The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghani currency devalued against USD

Afghani rupees
An Afghan money changer displays a 100 US dollar bill at the currency exchange market in Kabul on December 30, 2013. The Afghanistan afghani (AFN) currently stands at 56.40 against the US dollar, and 0.534 against the Pakistani rupee .

Since few months, Afghani currency has been devalued unprecedently against USD as it was exchanged some months ago Afs 63 per US dollar while now Afs 73.50 per dollar.
Expressing concern over this situation, the people and experts said that Da Afghanistan Bank should take serious counter steps because continuation of this situation leaves negative impacts as the essentials prices have hiked remarkably.
A local food supplier Mohammad Aman said this situation has caused prices in Kabul and provinces markets to increase because we import foodstuff from outside. Sometimes ago, one high quality Sila rice sack was sold Afs 1800 but now it costs Afs 2600 per sack. Similarly prices of edible oil and other essentials have also increased two or three fold.
Economist Saifuddin Saihoon asked the government to prevent smuggling of dollar otherwise increase of dollar smuggling would not only impact essentials prices but all spheres of public life while majority of people are poor. This unacceptable difference has concerned the people. We hope the Da Afghanistan Bank to supervise the market.
Economist Sher Ali Tazri said, the value of every currency depends upon national products and due to low level of domestic products in Afghanistan, Afghani has been devalued against dollor.
On the other, improving hopes for peace positively impact value of Afghani. But unfortunately intensified wars have recently caused Afghan currency to lose value.
He added, usually every year in this season commercial activities increase and all transactions take place in USD that automatically cause Afghani to devalue against dollar.
At the same time, considering smuggling of foreign currencies specially US dollar from Afghanistan to abroad as one of the reasons of Afghani devaluation, the governor of Da Afghanistan Bank Khalil Siddiq said that foreign currencies are extensively smuggled recently. Addressing the house questioning meeting, Siddiq added, currencies smuggling is taking place through our borders in Islam Qala, Hairatan, Nimroz, Farah, Balkh and Kabul airports.
Siddiq went on to say, every day over one hundreds taxies depart to Meshhad from Herat as their majority are involved in currencies smuggling into Iran.
He clarified that there are large number of smugglers who hold passports with “Multiple” visas, they smuggle currency and transfer money into Iran. Borders’ control is not the responsibility of the central bank and we have already share this issue with concerned security authorities. Local influential are involved in currency smuggling. Preventing currency smuggling causes Afghani to regain actual value.
He called imbalance of exports-imports one of the other reasons of Afghani devaluation as our annual imports is US$ 8 billion while our exports amounts to US$ 500 million.
Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.