Over the last few days, the government in Baghdad has been preoccupied with attempting to control the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar. The rate has been dropping since April, reaching its lowest at the beginning of this week.
During the preceding week on the local market, the dinar dropped against the dollar from 1,200 to 1,300, widening the gap against the official exchange rate by 121 dinars.
The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) sells one dollar for every 1,179 dinars to authorized banks, which then sell it for 1,189 dinars to citizens traveling for medical treatment. Otherwise, traders and others looking to buy dollars must enter a public auction for hard currency sales managed by the CBI. This is one of a series of measures overseen by the Interior Ministry.
The CBI, the country’s monetary policy authority, recently held a series of meetings with members of the country’s Parliamentary Presidential Board — which consists of Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, First Deputy Speaker Qusai al-Suhail and Second Deputy Speaker Aref Tayfur — to explain how to deal with the decline in the local exchange rate.
In a statement issued on May 12 and obtained by Al-Monitor, the Iraqi legislature announced that the parliamentary presidential board had met that day with Abdul Basit Turki, governor of the CBI by proxy and head of the Supreme Audit Board. It also proclaimed:
“The Parliamentary Presidential Board expressed its full support for the CBI scrutinizing the private banks’ activity, archiving information and taking reform measures, which include controlling the exchange rate of the dollar, reducing money laundering and strengthening the CBI’s capacity in economic development.”