Many Afghan refugees who traveled to Iran to seek job opportunities complain about the poor job market in the country. According to them, the current wage they earn in Iran is minimal compared to Afghanistan’s wage.
Mohammad Ali is one of the refugees who has returned to Afghanistan and is now residing in Injil district of Herat. Mr. Ali said that lately job opportunities have been winding down amid the currency crisis. Many Afghans left their jobs in Iran, as the Rial was losing its value precipitously.
According to some reports, Iran investors are considering about investing their capital in Afghanistan.
Rial’s plunge is also hitting hard some banking officials in Herat. Afghan businesses in Herat city, bordering with Iran, has felt the jolt of the Iranian currency’s plunge. Herat, one of Afghanistan’s wealthiest provinces serves as the best place for Iranian traders to fulfill their demands for US dollars. Western sanctions imposed in response to Iran’s disputed nuclear programme. Traders in Herat had previously accepted rials as payment, while Iranian taxis loaded with U.S. cash made their way back across the border.
Currently, 1,000 Iranian Toman (1Toman= 10 Rials) is sold at 16 AFN in Herat’s market. The declining value of Rial is causing a number of foreign money exchangers in Herat to export Tomans to Iran in exchange for Euros and dollars. The increase in purchase of dollars has increased the value of dollars in Herat compared to Kabul.
“The declining value of Rial in Herat’s market has been a blow to many money exchangers,” said Ghulam Mohammad Sohrabi, a member of money exchanger union in Herat. He added that a number of profit-seekers illegally transfer dollars and Euros to Iran through the border.
Outflow of foreign currencies through the Afghan borders has been a concern among the bank officials in western Afghanistan.
Anwar Shah Yousufi, Head of banking administration in the west of Afghanistan, called on national security bodies to prevent illegal transfer of foreign currencies outside of Afghanistan.
“As per the decision of the Council of Ministers, any passenger exiting the border is not allowed to carry more than USD 20,000 with themselves,” said Mr. Yousufi. He emphasized that besides this no other limitation has been passed on from the government.
Meanwhile, Sher Ahmad Muldani, Commander Border Police of Zone 4 in western Afghanistan, said an individual was detained for transferring about USD 100,000 to Iran through the Islam Qala border.
Commander Muldani said that border police officers have tightened the security at the border to prevent illegal transfer of foreign currencies to Iran.
Meanwhile, Sidiq Sidiqi, spokesperson to the Ministry of Defense, said that strict security at the border is not linked with Iran’s Rial crisis.
“According to the law, an amount has been specified in the past few years for the transfer of money outside of the country.”
Transfer of foreign currencies, especially the dollar, has been an issue of grave concern to many authorities and people for many years.
According to the data provided by the Central Bank, last year more than USD 4 billion and 700 thousand was transferred through Kabul Airport outside of Afghanistan.