The Central Bank, also known as Da Afghanistan Bank, in a statement on Wednesday said it has canceled all permits for currency exchange businesses run by individuals, but it has issued permits to 870 companies providing currency exchange services over the past year.
By issuing the permits to the companies, the statement said, their activities “have become standardized and they have been provided some resources.”
The statement said that the reason for the cancellation of the permits is to ensure transparency in the operation of these financial institutions and to provide ongoing supervision of their activities.
“This bill is not new; it is from a year ago. The figures are about one year's worth of activity,” said Abdul Rahman Zeerak, a spokesman for the Shahzada market’s currency exchangers union.
But the currency exchangers union said that many people who ran individual businesses will be unemployed as their permits have been canceled.
“Indeed, there might be an issue as currency exchangers so far have taken permits on their own. It is a big issue and we hope the process moves forward smoothly,” Zeerak said.
“Small money exchangers should be eliminated because such conditions have been set for them that they can no longer fulfill these conditions,” said Sayed Masoud, an economist.
“The first issue is that small currency exchangers should be removed because they will not apply new conditions introduced for their businesses,” economic affairs analyst Sayed Massoud said. “The second matter is that even if they could address those conditions, they cannot compete with big currency exchange businesses.”
Figures from the currency exchangers union indicate that any currency exchanger who wants to get a permit from the Central Bank must provide 3 million Afs as security, 200,000 Afs for the permit and should put up 30 million Afs worth of assets to the bank ahead of starting a business.