[ltr]2023.02.22 - 10:37[/ltr]
Baghdad - Nas
The Central Bank of Iraq has not yet been able to reduce the difference between the official and parallel dollar exchange rate, despite the implementation of control measures by pumping quantities of dollars into the markets.
Yesterday, Tuesday, the exchange rate in the local markets reached 153,000 dinars for the one hundred dollar category, at a time when the central bank continues to sell the one hundred dollar category at 130,000.
The market is currently in a confused situation, especially in terms of trade, as prices have not undergone any changes despite the government's decision to reduce the exchange rate to 1,300 dinars per dollar.
The economist, Nabil Al-Marsoumi, said that despite the implementation of the second package of banking reform announced by the Central Bank, and the improvement in sales for remittances and documentary credits, reaching more than $85 million recently compared to the past days, the exchange rate of the dollar in the parallel market still ranges between 153-154 thousand dinars per 100 dollars, and this gap may increase in the future.
He pointed out that the most prominent solutions to address the rise in prices lie in regulating trade and severing the link between the price of goods and the parallel exchange rate, as well as limiting commercial transactions to dinars, in order to reach a kind of stability in commodity prices.
Al-Marsoumi explained that the main merchant who imports at the official price is supposed to sell his goods to the individual at official prices and in dinars, but what is happening is the opposite, as the merchant focuses on making two profits, the first through commercial profit and the second through the difference between the parallel and official price.
Earlier, the Central Bank decided to adjust the exchange rate of the dollar against the dinar, as it set the price of buying a dollar from the Ministry of Finance at 1,300 dinars per dollar, and selling it at (1,310) dinars per dollar to banks through the electronic platform, and selling it at (1,320) dinars per dollar. Dollars from banks and non-bank financial institutions to the final beneficiary.
In turn, economist Dr. Adnan Bahia said: The remittance platform is important to control currency transfers abroad, but it needs awareness, coordination and cooperation between the government, the central bank and the main merchants to overcome the difficult stage.
And he added that when comparing real imports with remittances previously, it becomes clear that there are large differences compared to the existing imports, and this matter led to the country losing large amounts of hard currency.
For his part, the head of the Economic Committee in the Najaf Chamber of Commerce, Ali Sharba, said: The country depends to a large extent on imports in light of the rentier economy, so the merchant plays a major role in the life of the citizen to provide the goods and basic commodities that he needs.
He added that the financial transfer process represents the backbone of the economy, and that any delay in it causes confusion in public life, praising at the same time the new system that the government implemented for financial transfers through the platform and the Swift system that was supposed to be used previously, because it frames the transfers in the correct framework and protects them. From money laundering, smuggling and corruption.
And Sherba added that despite the application of the new system and its causing confusion and delay in transfer operations, with time and the use of new mechanisms far from bureaucracy, there will be a positive change in the exchange rate and the mechanisms of commercial dealings, and the Iraqi trader will keep pace with the global system like any trader in the world.
While Ali Al-Zuhairi, a wholesale trader, demanded that banks have a role in external transfer operations, adding in his speech: “The role of banks in Iraq is almost non-existent, and most of the merchants’ dealings are with exchange shops, while banks are predominantly exaggerated in their routine work.”
Al-Zuhairi expressed his hope that the shift to a new system in selling dollars and money transfers would be a good sign in activating the role of banks, and facilitating the transfer of financial dues to companies from which the merchant imports, and moving away from the black market to buy currency that carries additional financial burdens.
Quoted from the official newspaper
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