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Kabul citizens complain about hike of prices as U.S. dollar rises

KABUL (The Kabul Time): A number of Kabul citizens expressed concern over the rise in the price of food-items, after U.S. dollar rate recently skyrocketed against the local currency.

They said they can’t buy their needed items, while some households have to buy gifts and sweets for the houses of their brides, as well.

“U.S. dollar rate has risen and the shopkeepers have also risen the prices in this pretext. So we can afford it,” Hamid Rasa who has recently married said in a briefing with The Kabul Times.

He said this is a tradition in the Afghan society, to buy and prepare something for the house of the brides when Eid arrives, but the groom houses can’t afford it and this failure will result in dispute between the two sides.

Hamid who seen in the Kabul market to buy his favorite items complained about the concerned organs’ incompetency and said that no one ask traders for why they were rising the prices.

One U.S. dollar is now exchanged to 81 Afghanis and the rise of this currency has caused a bag of 50 kilogram flour to reach to 1,500 Afghanis, an unaffordable price difficult to be paid by ordinary households, with poor economic situation.

Another Kabul citizen, Nabila the mother of three children also said she can’t buy her needed daily items with her low revenue.

“Each year, during the holy month of Ramadan, the prices of foodstuff go up, but this year the prices are higher than the past because of what the traders said an eye-catching rise in the dollar rate and I can’t buy my own supplies,” she said.

They asked the government to take step in lowering the prices and controlling the dollar rate in the Kabul markets.

Not only common people, but also shopkeepers are also complaining about the hike of dollar price as they say this has badly affected their economy.

“We buy our merchandises in U.S. dollar and the rise in dollar rate affects the prices of foodstuff, our sales and eventually the people economy,” Yasin a shopkeeper said. Meantime, money-exchangers said despite the central bank offers U.S. dollar to the market three times a week, but the price has not still decreased.

The Central Bank spokesman, Aimal Ashuri said the bank would offer up to 40 million U.S. dollar to the market in order to lower the dollar price.

“Naturally, the offer would help heavily affect the price of dollar in the Kabul market,” said the spokesman adding in the past six months, the bank offered over 870 million U.S. dollar to the market to control currency rates in some extent.

Fall in the price of Iranian and Pakistani rupees have also added to the currently growing political and security challenges and would definitely affect the Afghani rate against dollar.

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