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Currency Control In Uzbekistan

Here's one way of boosting your national currency and building up your foreign currency reserves.

According to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, as of March 22, a new currency circulation order demands that bank clients must use all foreign currency within seven days after purchasing it, otherwise they are obligated to sell it back to the banks.

An Uzbek central bank official told RFE/RL that the order is basically related only to companies that import goods.

But private businessmen say that the new currency order has increased demand for foreign currency on the black market and increased the difference between the official and unofficial rates for the som against the dollar.

While the official dollar rate stands at 1,412 soms a dollar, the black market rate is more like 1,700-1,750 soms a dollar.

Rapid Response Group Uzbekistan, a local think tank, says the new measure was introduced to tackle the foreign currency shortage caused by the international financial crisis.

However, the group has also said that the new government order violates Uzbek laws.

In recent months, Uzbekistan -- like the rest of Central Asia -- has seen its currency tank and its remittances dry up.

-- Uzbek Service

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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