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Tajikistan's Currency On The Slide Against Dollar

Slipping somoni
Slipping somoni
DUSHANBE -- The National Bank of Tajikistan has allocated $1 million to prop up the national currency against the U.S. dollar, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Both the dollar and the Russian ruble have risen in value recently against the somoni, and the demand for dollars is also increasing. The somoni has fallen from 4.53 to the dollar to 4.68 over the past week.

Tajik officials have offered various explanations for the sudden fall in value of the somoni. They say farming's sowing season has contributed to driving up the demand for dollars.

Mirzomuddin Mavlonov of the National Bank of Tajikistan told RFE/RL that "the rise of the dollar depends primarily on increased prices outside the country." He said that trend is a temporary one and predicted a swift return to normal.

Some experts, however, say they expect the somoni to fall further, toward 4.85 somonis to the dollar. Economist Nuriddin Qyumov told RFE/RL that the current situation illustrates the whole range of Tajikistan's economic and financial problems.

"It is a result of the weak economy and reduced exports," he says. Qyumov also says that because of rising prices and uncertainty about the future, people are increasingly saving their money in hard currencies like the dollar.

Tajikistan has a "managed float" exchange-rate policy, wherein the central bank intervenes when necessary to affect the somoni/dollar rate.