The value of the Tajik national currency, the somoni (TJS), has continued to depreciate against the U.S. dollar, registering an average official buying rate (the buying rate is the rate at which money dealers will buy foreign currency) of the dollar against the somoni 1:8.8847 on April 25, up from 1:8.280 on April 9.

Over the report period, the somoni has lost nearly 1.0 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar (at the National Bank rate).

While major commercial banks reportedly had no dollars to speak of, some smaller lenders had small amounts to go around.  They offer not more than 200.00 U.S. dollars per person.   

Recall, the National Bank of Tajikistan in December 2015 ordered the closure of all unauthorized currency exchange points in the country.  After that, only banks were able to perform foreign exchange operations. Anybody found violating this new arrangement could face jail terms of up to nine years.

Also, banks are forbidden by law from selling somoni at more than 1.5 percent the rate established by the National Bank.

Tajik central bank has ordered commercial banks to organize sale of the dollar owing to their own reserves and the currency purchased from the population.

Meanwhile, banks attribute the current dollar shortage to the fact that they now receive dollar remittances far less frequently than before.

“We give only those dollars that we receive from customers,” a source in one of banking centers told Asia-Plus in an interview.

Some experts attribute the current dollar shortage in Tajikistan to the recent sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble against the dollar.

Tajik labor migrants working in the Russian Federation now mainly send Russian rubles to their families in Tajikistan. 

Thus, the percentage in the currency structure of the last year’s remittance flows from Russian to Tajikistan was: Russian ruble – 83 percent; U.S. dollar – 16 percent; and euro – 0.1 percent.