Taliban ban foreign currency use in Afghanistan – spokesman

An Afghan currency trader checks banknotes in front of a man at the market in Kabul, Afghanistan October 24, 2021. REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo

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Kabul, November 2 (Reuters) – The Taliban announced a total ban on the use of foreign currency in Afghanistan on Tuesday, a move that will surely cause further disruption to an economy pushed to the brink of collapse by the abrupt withdrawal of international aid.

The surprise move came hours after at least 25 people were killed and more than 50 wounded when gunmen attacked Afghanistan’s largest military hospital after two powerful explosions at the site in central Kabul. Read more

“The economic situation and national interests of the country require all Afghans to use Afghan currency in their trade,” the Taliban said in a statement shared by one of their spokesmen with journalists.

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The use of US dollars is widespread in Afghanistan’s markets, while border areas use the currency of neighboring countries such as Pakistan for trade.

The Taliban government is pushing for billions of dollars of central bank reserves to be released as the drought-stricken nation faces a money crisis, mass results and a new migration crisis.

Afghanistan parked billions of dollars in assets abroad from the US Federal Reserve and other central banks in Europe, but that money has been frozen since the Islamist Taliban ousted the Western-backed government in August.

The departure of US-led forces and the departure of many international donors left the country without subsidies, financing three-quarters of public spending.

The Treasury Department said it had a daily tax spending of about 400 million Afghans ($ 4.4 million).

Although Western powers want to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan, they have refused to officially recognize the Taliban government.

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Reporting by Gibran Peshimam Editing by Peter Graff and Gareth Jones

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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