Friday, July 8, 2016

In Tajikistan, use plastic money or pay a fine

“A National Bank decree that came into effect on July 1 reminds businesses that under a law adopted in December 2014, shops covering an area larger than 40 square meters need to have card processing terminals installed.

“Entities liable to be fined have until next January to come into line with the rules.

“At a press conference back in January, National Bank official Lola Salimova said that that more than 60-70 percent of transactions in Tajikistan are done in cash, which she described as a high-risk position. Salimova said the intense reliance on hard cash left the country vulnerable to the unbridled development of a shadow economy and that it was difficult for the authorities to know how much money is in circulation. That is exactly how most people prefer it, however, given that extortion by government officials is the order of the day.”

Yes, the government needs some control over money, but if extortion is part of the government, citizens might be just a little concerned. The situation sounds like citizens are fighting back.

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