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Dedollarization of Kazakh mentality: Governor of National Bank

13 february 2014, 16:24
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Photo © Marat Abilov
Photo © Marat Abilov
The National Bank and the Government of Kazakhstan are going to press on to dedollarize the economy and discourage the Kazakhstan population from relying on the US dollar on an everyday basis, Tengrinews reports citing the Governor of the National Bank Kairat Kelimbetov.

Kelimbetov met with journalists yesterday in Astana to answer their burning questions about the devaluation of tenge declared a few days ago. “Unfortunately, we have a highly dollarized mentality here, so we have suggested to develop a program of dedollarization of our economy,” Kelimbetov said. “Take Russia for instance, if you ask how much an apartment costs in Russia, people make you the price in Russian rubles. Our salaries are all in tenge, we pay our taxes in tenge and spend our money in tenge. But in spite of all that we seem to have a mental calculator that converts everything into dollars,” the Governor elaborated.

The dollarization of the Kazakhstan economy is at almost 40%, Kelimbetov said, adding that currency exchange services are far more popular in Kazakhstan than they should be. “Exchange booths are have been working 24/7 during all 20 years of our Independence. Does a person who is not hiding his income and know what he is doing tomorrow have the need to exchange dollars for tenge at nighttime?” Kelimbetov asks. He believes only banks should be allowed to exchange currency in Kazakhstan, not private booths, And it is not about taking away someone’s business, he believes, but rather about ensuring legality of currency exchange in the country.

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