Afghans have raised concerns about the decrease in the value of the Afghani, reports Paiwandgāh Citizen Journalist Ahmad Seyar Ghafoori. The fall of the Afghani has affected many locals, he claims.
Not too long ago, 1$US was exchanged at the rate of 47 Afghanis, however now it is close to 60 Afghanis. Similarly, 1000 Afs could be exchanged for 1890 Pakistani Rupees, a currency commonly traded in the provinces near the Pakistan border. The rate has now decreased to 1700 rupees for every 1000Afs.
One of the achievements of former President Hamid Karzia’s term was maintaining fixed and constant rates of the Afghan currency. However, the value of the Afghani has been steadily decreasing since after the formation of the National Unity Government. This has raised concerns among many, and affected local traders and businesses.
Muskin, who is involved in money exchange the in Jalalabad currency exchange market, told Ghafoori, “The sudden decrease in the exchange rate of Afghani currency had negatively affected business and daily transactions. It has spread turmoil in the currency exchange market.”
Ghafoori spoke to local businesses in Nangrahar, a majority of who deal with Pakistani Rupees, a currency common in the eastern provinces. Ghafoori added that even government employees who get their salary with Afghani currency, exchanged it for Pakistani Rupees for daily transactions.
Residents, especially businessmen and traders, have urged the government to pay attention to the issue and work towards restoring and sustaining currency rates.
An economist and Nangrahar University lecturer, Ilham Safi, attributed this to several reasons. He explained that lack of government action on economic issues, fewer local business transactions, rise in insecurity, could impact the local currency rates. “The lack of local production and factories also contributes to a decrease in the currency value,” he added. “Businesses and traders who transfer of large amounts of local money abroad also contribute to the falling exchange rate of Afghani currency.”
Safi strongly suggested that the government introduce a healthy economic environment for local businesses to attract and sustain investment, a move he says will help stabilise the exchange rate of Afghani currency.
Safi further recommends that the government reconsider it’s economic policies. He advises that it necessary that Afghanistan maintain a balance of foreign trade, especially imports, to prevent increase in prices of essential commodities.
On the other hand, he points out that such instability can influence the value of exporting products. He urges the government to take initiative with this regard.
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