Tajikistan’s financial regulator has responded to the proposal to squeeze money supply in order to curb further devaluation of the national currency, the somoni.

The National bank of Tajikistan (NBT) has enough cash reserves and “there are no any barriers to provide various spheres of the country with the somoni,” the NBT says in replay to the report “Somoni shortage felt in Tajikistan: it is government’s targeted policy?” that was published by Asia-Plus on October 30.  

Tajik central bank says the country’s lending agencies are provided by cash regularly.  Over the first eight months of this year, the NBT Central Vault has reportedly provided more than 7 billion somoni t lending agencies. 

These funds are spent, first of all, to pay wages, pensions, deposits and loan projects, according to the financial regulator.   

Recall, it was noted on October 30 that a shortage of the national currency, the somoni, is being felt in Tajikistan’s banking system for almost a month.  Because of this, people cannot receive remittances in time.  Since the end of September, branches of commercial banks in the regions have been experiencing shortage of the somoni.  Because of this, people cannot receive remittances in Russian rubles in time. 

Tajik labor migrants working in Russia send remittances to their families in Tajikistan mainly in the Russian rubles.  The fact is that since 2016 remittances sent to Tajik banks in the Russian rubles are given in the national currency.  According to some sources, some 90 percent of remittances are now sent to Tajikistan from Russia in the Russian rubles.  

Residents of the city of Kulob and surrounding districts complained in late October that they cannot receive remittances sent to them from Russia in time because local banks are experiencing shortage of the national currency.  

Practically the same situation can be seen in Tursunzoda, Vahdat, Faizobod and a number of other districts subordinate to the center. 

Some experts consider that it is an attempt to drive some banks out of the market, while some others say that in this way the Tajik central bank attempts to go to cashless payment for more efficient control over financial flows and so forth.    

Meanwhile, a specialist from the NBT, who wanted to remain unnamed, said it is a targeted policy of the government aimed at squeezing money supply in order to curb further devaluation of the somoni under conditions of an acute shortage of foreign currency.   

Experts say that by squeezing money supply the National Bank of Tajikistan can prevent development of the country’s economy.