Money changing old system still popular in Afghanistan
Kabul, January 1, 2007 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Though 14 banks are operative in country, but still thousands of people may be seen busy in currency exchange of million dollars in Shahzada Sarai.
Famous for its 50 years history, the centre has got national and international reputation and Da Afghanistan Bank also confirm currency rate from this centre.
Amin Jan Khosti, a money changer, told Pajhwok Afghan News as due to long wars there were no arrangements for Banking system, then money changers were the only means for currency transfer or exchange.
He said there were about 300 money changing shops in the centre, about 100 of these dealers were doing business of money delivery. He said the dealers often do business of $8 million on the daily basis. Mohammad Isa Tarab, deputy head of Da Afghanistan Bank, said they were giving permission to two types of money changers, the one who could business of delivery but the other could not do this dealing.
He said the dealers who were doing work of money delivery should deposit 0.1 million afghanis in Afghanistan bank as guarantee.
Khosti, 48, who has worked for 21 years in Shahzada Sarai said large number of people are coming to the centre for exchanging or delivery of money.
He said: "We are doing business through telephone, fax and e-mail that may be done in minute while banks take much time therefore, people come to us for dealings."
To a question that black money may also be sent through this way, Khosti said: "This is possible, but we have no information about this, intelligence should know about this."
He said they charged the customer with minor commission and the ratio of fee was depending upon the place where it might be sent. He said: "We take commission from 0.2 per cent to 2 per cent." Khosti said they were paying 10,000 afghanis tax to the government.
He said the money changers and officials of the Ministry of Finance according to a guess fix the tax. According to government rules, the money dealers have been divided into 25 groups, who are paying from 20,000 afghanis to 0.7 million afghanis keeping in view their income.
The people who were sending money through money changers in the past are still sticking to this old style. Mohammad Sharif, 50, a resident of Logar said: "Our other villagers also send money through money changers, we are not used with banking system."
Amin Jan Khosti, said a ten-member of police was guarding the market, but still the money changers did not fell themselves safe out of the Sarai. He said: "We take a policeman along whenever we have to go out of the Sarai." He said over 20 money changers had been killed in the last 14 years by unidentified gunmen and over 100 had been looted.