Baku, Azerbaijan, April 28
The National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) attributes the current US dollar shortage in Tajikistan to the recent sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble against the dollar, Tajik news agency “Asia-Plus” reported.
The recent sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble against the dollar has reportedly affected Tajikistan’s currency market.
Exchange of the Russian ruble for the dollar is one of the main sources to replenish the dollar reserves of the country’s lending agencies.
Remittances in Russian rubles sent from Russia to lending agencies in Tajikistan are paid out to customers in the somoni while the received rubles are used by lending agencies for purchasing dollars in Russia’s financial markets.
The stable exchange rate of the Russian ruble allows Tajik lending agencies purchasing dollars in Russia at the reasonable exchange rate.
The NBT notes that since the beginning of the year the official exchange rate of the somoni against the dollar has fallen 0.8 percent (In January-April 2017, the somoni lost 7.6 percent of its value against the dollar).
Meanwhile, the market exchange rate (the rate set by commercial banks) of the somoni against the dollar has reportedly fallen 3.1 percent since the beginning of the year, mainly in the late April (In January-April 2017, the market exchange rate the somoni against the dollar decreased by 12 percent).
As of April 26, 2018, the difference between the rate established by the NBT and the market rate was 3.2 percent (as of April 26, 2017, this difference was 4.6 percent).
In December 2015, the NBT ordered the closure of all unauthorized currency exchange points in the country. After that, only banks were able to perform foreign exchange operations. Anybody found violating this new arrangement could face jail terms of up to nine years.
The NBT has ordered commercial banks to organize sale of the dollar owing to their own reserves and the currency purchased from the population.