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Fresh notes selling at higher prices in Kabul

Fresh notes selling at higher prices in Kabul

Aug 21, 2011 - 17:06

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): Newly-introduced banknotes of one, two and five afghanis are being sold 20 percent higher than their actual price by moneychangers in Kabul.

After the fall of the Talibaninfo-icon regime in 2001, the then transitional government had introduced fresh currency notes, torching the old ones.

In 2003, Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Bank, central bank, collected the notes of one, two and five afghanis and introduced coins instead of them.

The bank's spokesman, Aimal Hashor, told Pajhwok Afghan News at that time they had old banknotes worth 200 million afghanis. He said the bank once again introduced new notes to replace the coins.

Currently, both new notes and coins are in circulation in the market, where moneychangers are doing a roaring business by selling the notes.

Asadullah, a moneychanger at the Shahzada Money Market, said he sold 100 afghanis new notes for 120 afghanis. He added they had obtained the new notes from the central bank in exchange for coins without paying any extra charges. "But we are here to earn while sitting in the sizzling sun."

When asked why people buy these notes at high rates, he said they wanted to give the fresh currency to children on Eid.

Zikria, 19, shouted: "Come and buy 100 new notes of one afghani for 120 afghanis." He told Pajhwok he charged extra money to earn a living. "Moneychangers go to banks and bring new banknotes to the market. It is a time-consuming process."

A resident of the Arzan Qeemat area, Maula Dad, 52, who was purchasing new notes from a moneychanger, said he had seven children. "I want to buy these new notes for them because kids like notes, not coins."

As a tradition, children in groups visit homes of relatives and neighbours on Eid and receive money as a gift from near and dear ones.

But a resident of the Khair Khana locality, Shamsuddin, who bought two bundles of fresh notes of one and two afghanis, said he would make a necklace of notes for his nephew, who recently married. He asked the government to prevent moneychangers from selling new notes at higher prices.

Head of moneychangers' union, Mohammad Amin Jan Khosti, confirmed some moneychangers were selling new notes at greater rates. However, he said the sellers had to visit banks to draw the notes.

But religious scholar, Mohammad Haqyar, saw no justification for selling fresh notes at higher rates. The practice was not allowed by Islam, he said, stressing new notes should be sold without any profit.



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