Due to the reduction of foreign currency revenues from exports of oil and gas the government of Turkmenistan has restricted the sale of foreign currency to local companies and population, reports Reuters, citing its sources.
According to one of the Turkmen entrepreneurs, who agreed to talk to Reuters on condition of anonymity, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan (CBT) has completely stopped the sale of foreign currency to local companies. To buy the currency they can now only in commercial banks whose access to foreign exchange resources in varying degrees, restricted.
According to one of interlocutors of Agency, to freely buy the currency now, engaged in the implementation of the most important for the country’s economy or its image projects. The first is, in particular, project of construction of gas pipeline TAPI, the route which has to pass through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, the second — the construction of infrastructure for the Asian indoor games to be held in Ashgabat in the autumn of 2017.
All other currency to buy almost impossible. In January 2016, the size limit allowed for purchase by legal entities of foreign currency amounts were defined CBT in $10 thousand However, one of the interlocutors Reuters, Turkmen businessman, lamented that instead of $10 thousand was able to get from your Bank is only $500.
Sale of currency to the population is also limited. Under current rules, individuals can buy dollars or euros in the amount not exceeding their monthly wages. The minimum wage in the country is 590 Turkmen manat, which at the official exchange rate, equivalent to about $168,5. “When I need to go abroad, I have to go around all your friends and relatives to [using them] by so much currency as you can. But my Bank still has not fully complied with request I filed back in December,” a source explained to Reuters.
From June 2016, the remittances from abroad are paid to residents of Turkmenistan only in manats.
The official dollar rate set by the Central Bank of Turkmenistan (CBT) at the level of 3.5 manats to the us dollar and is held at this level since the beginning of 2015. However, the black market the value of the dollar, according to Reuters, is now 5.5-6 bn.
Restrictions Reuters attributed to reduced foreign exchange earnings from export of Turkmen energy resources. In 2015, the revenues of Turkmenistan’s exports decreased by 38.5% in the first quarter of 2016, after the refusal of Gazprom to buy Turkmen gas — 41.5%.
Held in mid-July session of the government of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov called “the main direction of national development” in the second half of 2016 “to promote the welfare of Turkmen citizens”. From 1 January 2017, the salaries of employees of budgetary institutions, self-supporting enterprises and public organizations, as well as pensions, state benefits and student scholarships decided to raise by 10%, and the minimum wage in the country to bring up to 650 manats.