KABUL (Pajhwok): The closure of banks and foreign exchange markets in the capital Kabul has raised concerns among the population and experts believe the situation will lead to an economic slowdown.

With the Taliban returning to Kabul on August 15, all banking activities were closed and they are still closed today, Monday.

Pajhwok Afghan News spoke to a number of people and economic experts who expressed concern over the current situation and called for the reopening of banks and foreign exchange markets.

People complain about the economic situation and call for the reopening of banks

ShafiqullahAzizi, who waited for days outside a branch of Azizi Bank to withdraw money from his account, said he was unable to withdraw money when he needed it urgently .

He said there were reports that the banks would reopen last Saturday, but they had not yet been opened.

QaisMohammadi, another resident of Kabul who visited the bank’s main headquarters, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he visited the bank daily after the Taliban took control of Kabul, but the bank is remained closed.

He complained about his economic problems and said: “I am a government official, our salaries were transferred to our accounts two days before the government fell, but my money is blocked in the bank and I don’t know. what to do. , I have no money even to buy bread.

Another angry man, who was waiting to withdraw his money from Kabul Bank, said there was no work and people had no money to buy bread. He said people could start looting and committing other crimes if the banks remained closed and trade stopped.

NajlaRahil, a Facebook user in an article, said: “All the assets of our people are in banks. Now the banks are closed and no one can even take their wages. What can this miserable nation do? Who should they complain to? “

A number of other residents of Kabul have lodged similar complaints.

They all called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to take urgent action to reopen banks and foreign exchange markets to help solve the economic problems of the people.

Continued bank closures would stop trade, push prices up, increase problems: experts

Saifuddin Saihoon, lecturer at Kabul University and economist, expressed concern about the bank closures and called it a serious problem because all people are currently suffering from economic problems.

He said that money plays a vital role in the economy, trade and deals and that closing banks will not lead to any trade deals and more economic problems and higher prices.

“Banks and economic activities should resume and people’s assets should be provided; so that people do not face economic problems, ”he said.

Saihoon said political institutions should be created and interact with the world and the International Monetary Fund in order to strengthen international credibility and resolve the current crisis.

On freezing the assets of Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) in the United States, he said, when a country was subject to economic sanctions, it fell into crisis.

Iran has also already faced economic sanctions and the country has even been deprived of basic materials and goods, he added.

On the survival of Afghanistan in the absence of foreign aid, he said poverty would increase and economic crisis would surface if the situation persisted.

Saihoon called on the Islamic Emirate to form an inclusive government as soon as possible in order to open channels of interactions with the world and start economic activities.

An economics professor at a private university in Kabul, who wished to remain anonymous, said when banks were closed it meant no flow of money, which created major economic challenges.

He said the money was in circulation in the markets but was currently being drastically reduced and the stock markets as well as the forex markets were crippled. He said that the continuation of the current situation will create poverty, unemployment and economic problems.

“Afghanistan has recently moved towards the banking system and the opening up of banks is very important at this time; because people trust banks and put their money there, they should be reopened as soon as possible, ”he added.

He said withdrawing money from the ATM without domestic and international procedures would damage the prestige of the central bank in the other world.

Bank officials say to resume operations if assured of safety

A Kabul Bank official, who wished to remain anonymous, said the banks should have been opened two days ago, but concerns about the safety of the bank’s employees and assets remained.

Regarding the date of reopening of the banks, he said negotiations on bank safety were underway with the Islamic Emirate before they reopened.

Haji DadgulHazratzoi, deputy director of Sara-i-Shahzada Money Exchange Union, said Sara-i-Shahzada has been closed since the Taliban returned to Kabul.

Hazratzoi said guards in Sara-i-Shahzada were working with the Taliban to ensure the security of Sara-i-Shahzada market and hoped that all necessary measures would be taken soon and that the market would be reopened in the near future.

He called on the current administration to provide urgent security to the workers of banks and assets and to issue a declaration for the start of the activities of the banks.

Upcoming resumption of banking, financial and customs activities: MoF

The finance ministry said in a statement that efforts were being made to remove current restrictions and resume banking, finance and customs activities.

The statement said the DAB, private banks and customs offices will resume operations soon, asking technicians from the ministry to resume their work.

Meanwhile, AhmadullahWasiq, deputy spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that officials from the finance ministry, banks and relevant bodies at a meeting decided to resume operations. banks and foreign exchange markets as soon as possible to solve people’s problems. to an end.

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Rodney N.

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