The government has announced its intention to take decisive action this year to stabilise the dollar exchange rate and combat the black market. This commitment was made during the inaugural session of the government’s ‘Ahaa’ forum at Sultanpark, where the public had the opportunity to engage directly with ministers.
Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed, addressing a query at the forum, acknowledged the critical challenge small and medium-sized businesses face due to the necessity of purchasing dollars at elevated prices. Saeed highlighted that the official exchange rate of the dollar, set at MVR 15.42, is significantly lower than the rate at which it is commonly bought and sold. This disparity has prompted the government to focus on stabilising the dollar’s exchange rate.
“The President has resolved to undertake very targeted measures to stabilise the dollar’s exchange rate,” stated Minister Saeed, though he did not provide specifics on the planned measures.
Previously, MMA had formulated a foreign exchange regulation intended to eradicate the black market. This move was initially proposed by the previous government but faced delays in implementation due to the economic repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The proposed measures include a requirement for companies earning foreign currency to retain a certain percentage of it in a local bank for a specified period. Additionally, the opening of dollar accounts to the general public would be restricted. Furthermore, there will be heightened measures against foreigners involved in the dollar exchange business.