Businessmen stage protest against banking restrictions

KABUL (SW) – Hundreds of Afghan businessmen gathered in front of a private bank in Kabul to protest against banking restrictions.

They told Salam Watandar that with the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate and with the mediation of the Da Afghanistan Bank and private banks, it was decided that they could withdraw five percent of their money every month. But according to them, they have not been paid for eight months.

Gholam Haider, one of these merchants, said that despite months of waiting, they are still not paid and they have been forced to meet with various government officials but to no avail.

“600 of us have gathered here and we have also brought our forms. The central bank had given a form to fill in and we filled it several times, but the bank won’t give us the money. We tried several times to meet with government officials, but no one heard us. Now we have come from Mullah Baradar’s office but they told us to come after 20 days.”

Rahmanullah Rahmani, another merchant, said that their money has being blocked, their business activities have stopped and their voices are not heard anywhere.

“Our business has also stopped because our money is blocked. A solution must be found for this problem. We have visited Maiwnd Bank, Central Bank and other places several times but we have only been given empty promisses.”

Mohammad Rafi Ebrahimi, another Afghan businessman, wants the Islamic Emirate to deal with the problem of businessmen inside the country.

According to him, if the government does not support them, their activities will be stopped and as a result, their employees will be rendered unemployed.

We wanted to discuss this issue with the head of the private banks union; But Najibullah Amiri, the head of the union, told Salaam Watandar that this problem is related to the Central Bank of Afghanistan, not private banks.

“You know where this problem came from. Both the government and the central bank have talked about its solution. Therefore, you contact the central bank because the money is given by the central bank”.

Despite two days of efforts, the officials of the Da Afghanistan Bank and the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate did not answer our questions in this regard.