Taliban will have access to 0.2pc of Afghan central bank assets

PESHAWAR: The governor of the Central Bank of Afghanistan has predicted an increase in the rate of inflation in Afghanistan and clarified that at present, the total national assets were worth more than $9 billion, but the Taliban will have access to only 0.1-0.2 per cent of these assets.

 

Releasing details on his Twitter accounts, Central Bank of Afghanistan Governor Ajmal Ahmady said that according to the bank’s international reserves, the total assets were more than $9 billion a few weeks ago, but that does not mean that the bank has $9 billion in cash as by international standards, most of the assets are secured.

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently approved an allocation of $650 billion for the country, with the first tranche of about $340 million to be disbursed in August. It is, however, unclear whether it will be disbursed after the Taliban seized the country.

 

“Given that the Taliban are not yet on the international recognition list, it is expected that these assets will be frozen and inaccessible to the Taliban,” Ahmady said.

 

The central bank governor added that he can’t imagine a scenario where the treasury gives the Taliban access to its funds. Therefore, the Taliban will have access to hardly 0.1 to 0.2 per cent of Afghanistan’s .

 

“Moreover, without the approval of the treasury, it was unlikely that any of the donors will support the Taliban government,” he said, adding that the cash flow was close to zero as the security situation had deteriorated.

 

Before the Taliban takeover of Kabul on Saturday, it was hoped that a large consignment of US dollars would be received, but it was not forthcoming and citizens were converting their money into US dollars due to which Afghan currency dropped to 86 against the dollar.

 

“All assets are kept in FED, BIS, Ramp, or other bank accounts. We had a programme with both the IMF and the treasury that monitored the assets,” Ahmady said. 

 

The central bank governor further said that the Taliban and their supporters should have realised now that after seizing the capital, they have to govern the country now which is not an easy job. He warned that problems in the country will further increase, inflation will rise and it will hurt the poor as food prices have already started inflating.

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