Baghdad – The issue of tampering with the stability of the local currency in Iraq forced the authorities to engage in a battle against traders in the markets, with the aim of preventing them from dealing in dollars and alleviating pressures on the purchasing power of exhausted people.
And local media reported on Sunday that the authorities banned dealing in US dollars in markets and shops, and entrusted the security forces to implement this.
The campaign launched by the Ministry of Interior, in coordination with the Central Bank, comes within the context of an expanded program bearing the slogan “Supporting the Iraqi Dinar” in order to confront speculators and currency manipulators.
And after witnessing an unprecedented decline in its value since last January, the dinar continued its journey of recovery against the dollar in the transactions of banking companies and banks, but it is still far from the price set by the government.
And the lowest exchange rate for the Iraqi currency during this year was recorded at 1670 dinars per dollar, before its exchange rate improved, and earlier this month it reached 1445 dinars per dollar on the black market, but the US currency reached 1310 dinars in official transactions on Sunday.
This improvement came after strict government measures and efforts implemented by the Central Bank to provide foreign currency in the local markets, despite the fluctuation in supply.
And the Central Bank resorted to a system of auditing and determining the mechanisms for selling the currency, controlling foreign transfers, and increasing the supply of dollars in the markets.
Last February, the government approved a decision to adjust the exchange rate of the dollar in the local markets to 1,300 dinars, up from 1,460.
The government newspaper, Al-Sabah, quoted Brigadier General Hussein Al-Tamimi, director of operations at the Organized Crime Directorate at the Ministry of Interior, as saying, “The directorate issued a circular banning merchants and citizens from dealing in markets, shops, and commercial centers in dollars, and limiting the transaction to dinars.”
He added, “Written pledges will be taken from the owners of shops and commercial centers that dealings will be in dinars instead of dollars.”
Al-Tamimi continued, “Forces have been deployed to take legal measures against violators with the aim of limiting the exploitation of weak-minded people by the discrepancy in dollar prices and their sale of goods or materials of all kinds in this currency.”
The authorities specified dealing in dollars exclusively at the Central Bank and authorized exchange offices, in conjunction with the intensification of campaigns to monitor the high prices of food and medicine in the local markets in Baghdad, in coordination with the commercial control departments and intelligence agencies.
According to the government center for statistics, inflation rose in the Iraqi market last March to 5.3 percent on an annual basis, although it decreased by 0.7 percent on a monthly basis.
The repercussions of speculation in foreign currency in the local market were reflected negatively on the prices of commodities and basic foodstuffs, amid calls for the government to intervene to curb these speculations.
Prices have witnessed a significant increase mainly since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine as a result of imported inflation, which exhausted the budgets of Iraqi families and changed their accounts in terms of spending.