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Success Of Iraqi Monetary Policy Disputed

Salih says the Central Bank has kept exchange rates manageable.
BAGHDAD -- A senior Iraqi banker says the country's Central Bank has successfully calmed erratic currency fluctuations and sharply reduced inflation.

Iraqi Central Bank monetary adviser Mudhhir Muhammad Salih tells RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq that the bank has been able to cut inflation from 32 percent in 2006 to a current level of 9.2 percent. He says the Central Bank has kept the basic interest rate and the value of the Iraqi currency against the dollar at levels that ensure inflationary pressures are manageable.

But the deputy chairman of the parliament's Economy Committee, Yunadim Kanna, says that the Central Bank has set the basic interest rate so high that it is now more appealing for potential investors to keep their money in the bank than to take a risk and start new businesses.