'Committed to transparency': Taliban hands over $12.3 million of seized cash and gold to Afghan central bank

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, September 16, 2021, 11:13 AM IST
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Taliban fighters | PTI

Kabul: The Taliban has handed over about $12.3 million cash and some gold found from the houses of former administration's officials and local offices of former government's intelligence agency to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the country's central bank, a statement said on Thursday.

"The officials of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by handing over the assets to national treasury proved their commitment to transparency," Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying..

The statement also said that Mohammad Idrees, acting governor of the central bank, has assured the safety of Afghans' deposits in commercial banks.

"Da Afghanistan Bank assures our countrymen that all commercial banks operating in the country are under serious supervision and are conducting their operations better than before. The banks are completely secure," Idrees was quoted as saying.

All commercial banks in the region and the world usually keep 10% of their capital as cash and use the remainder in various commercial activities and provide useful services to their people, the statement said.

"Commercial banks in Afghanistan, on average, keep 50% of the afghani and foreign currency with them. Therefore, the banking sector is in a good condition.

"These banks have invested a certain amount of money inside the country and abroad to play a useful role in the economic growth of Afghanistan," the Governor added.

The statement came as thousands of customers are trying withdraw their savings since the Taliban's takeover in mid-August.

Reports of freezing Afghanistan's bank assets by the US as well as a halt of funds by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have fueled concerns among Afghans.

After the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank halted their aid to the war-torn country which largely depends upon the flow of foreign funds. According to reports from Kabul, Afghanistan's economy is near collapse even as the United Nations has made hectic efforts to galvanise global efforts to rush food and essential supplies.

On August 28, the central bank issued an order to all banks in the country, setting a temporary limit of withdrawals of $200 or 20,000 afghani for one customer every week.

Meanwhile, the government will take ‘every legal step possible’ to lift the US freeze on assets of the Afghan central bank, said Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen.

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