Why is there a limit on currency exchange transactions?

Baku/27.12.23/Turan: In a recent development, the Board of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) has sanctioned the "Regulation on conducting currency exchange operations by persons licensed for currency exchange activities and control of currency exchange activities." This decision, dated December 12, has triggered discussions surrounding its implications and the surprising revelation that it stems from the initiative of the Association of Banks of Azerbaijan (ABA), an NGO. The CBA subsequently gave its approval, effectively legitimizing the move.

Economist Natik Jafarli sheds light on the matter in the "Difficult Question" program, asserting that the CBA's decision merely formalizes existing restrictions that have been in place for several years. The puzzling aspect, according to Jafarli, is that these restrictions were not part of the legislation; rather, they were autonomously imposed by the ABA. The economist raises critical questions about the legality and accountability of such measures, particularly given their enforcement over the past 3-4 years.

Jafarli challenges the paradoxical situation where citizens were subjected to limitations without an official decision from the CBA. He questions the basis on which individuals and entities were compelled to adhere to these rules, submit personal information, and undergo scrutiny. The lack of transparency surrounding these practices and the absence of an official mandate prompt further inquiry into the responsibilities of those involved.

Despite the apparent absurdity of the decision, Jafarli acknowledges a silver lining: the newfound status of the decision as a normative act, providing a semblance of order to what was previously perceived as arbitrary. He notes the relaxation in certain aspects, allowing currency transactions without document submission for amounts up to 500 US dollars on purchase and 10 thousand US dollars on sale.

However, the economist highlights the persistent restriction on purchasing currency exceeding 20 thousand manats annually. To surpass this limit, citizens are required to submit an application detailing their income source and a tax return. Jafarli interprets these measures as attempts to artificially curb the demand for foreign currency, viewing them as governmental maneuvers with no substantial impact due to the ingenuity of individuals in finding ways to circumvent such regulations.

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