EghtesadOnline: Restrictions on foreign currency trade by authorized exchange bureaus have pushed people towards the black market, chief of the founding board of Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Iran said.
Asghar Samiei pointed to directives of the Central Bank of Iran that allows certificated exchange bureaux to annually sell banknotes to every Iranian up to a ceiling of $2,200 or equivalent at market rates.
Currency market volatilities since the spring of last year has resulted in the tanking of the rial to unprecedented lows and obliged policymakers to set ceilings for forex transactions to curb market instability and end currency speculation, Financial Tribune reported.
"True, the move helped avert wrongdoing [ currency smuggling], but it also has caused problems for those wanting to buy foreign currency for meeting their real needs," IRNA quoted him as saying.
Not only did the decision increase illegal forex trade in the black market, but also led to the entry of counterfeit foreign currency, he added.
All Iranians can buy up to $2,200 currency a year by presenting an ID card at certificated money changers. However, those in need of more have no choice but to approach the black marketeers and avaricious middlemen.
As a consequence, more transactions are being conducted in black markets across the country and the flow of counterfeit foreign currencies has also increased.