Officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Monday warned Afghans who use Pakistani Rupees to refrain from doing so as Pakistan could be added to the global grey list at the end of the month.
According to ACCI officials, currently around 40 percent of trade and business in bordering provinces with Pakistan, and in central parts of the country, are carried out by Afghans using Pakistani Rupees.
ACCI said these traders will suffer heavy losses once Pakistan is included on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Tawfiq Dawari, deputy head of ACCI, said Pakistan could be added to FATF’s grey list by the end of June which will cause Pakistani Rupees to lose their value by up to 30 percent against the US dollar. He also said the world’s banks may close their doors to Pakistan.
“Currently billions of Pakistani Rupees are with traders and people across the country. Government should prohibit the use of the rupees in daily business (transactions) to prevent possible losses in the future,” said Dawari.
The Central Bank of Afghanistan meanwhile said based on the law they cannot do anything to help people who suffer losses because of Pakistan’s inclusion on the grey list.
Aimal Hashoor, spokesman for the central bank, said if Afghans using Pakistani Rupees suffer financial losses, the central bank does not have any obligation to help them.
“We doubtless know that people may suffer losses, but it is their choice because they use the rupees. We want people to use Afghanis instead of Pakistani Rupees,” said Hashoor.
According to the central bank, in the last year, the value of Pakistani Rupees against the dollar has dropped by 9.5 percent.
This comes after Islamabad has been in meetings over the past few days to finalize an action plan for review by the FATF with regard to its efforts to curb money laundering and terror financing.
Pakistan Today reported on Sunday that reports suggest Islamabad risks being placed on the blacklist of countries that financially aid terrorism if its action plan is rejected by the task force.
The NSC, which reviewed the issue in detail, will share their progress with the FATF Secretariat at the upcoming meeting scheduled in Paris from June 24-29.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar briefed the NSC about both administrative and legal measures taken so far by the country to meet FATF requirements.
Based in Paris, FATF, the global watchdog on money laundering and terror financing, put Pakistan on its watch list in February this year.
Pakistan was listed as grey in 2012 but was removed in 2015 after strenuous efforts to address the concerns of the group.