DAMASCUS, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The recent increase in the foreign currency's exchange rates against the Syrian pounds has actually jeopardized living conditions in Syria and led to a public appeals on the Central Bank of Syria to intervene immediately to put matters back on the right scale.
Observers have circulated that the Central Bank would interfere soon in the stock market in order to rein in the skyrocketing prices of the dollar, which reached unprecedented levels, warning that any delay by the bank would overburden the citizen as prices have significantly exceeded his income.
They warned that this would result in a social and economic disaster.
The U.S. dollar is currently trading at around 112 pounds in the black market, the highest ever figure in Syria's history.
According to the bulletin of the Central Bank of Syria, the dollar officially broke a new record price on Tuesday in front of the Syrian pound by trading at 84 pounds, also the highest by the bank.
Economic sources confirmed that the bank would undoubtedly interfere, signaling the bad role played by the exchange companies in raising the prices of the exchange rate.
Abed Fadhliya, the professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Damascus and the former general director of the Syrian Real Estate Bank, told local websites that exchange companies and black market traders have the final word in determining the value of the price of the exchange rate, not the central bank.
Also, Akram Hourani, a professor at the Faculty of Economics, told local media that it's "a good achievement" that the Syrian pound has lost no more than half of its value just over two years since the start of clashes in Syria, imploring the central bank to intervene to maintain the price of the pound in order to rein in the living cost for low-income Syrians, who pose a good portion of Syria's 23 million inhabitants.
Prices of all food stuff have dramatically increased and most items have become out of reach for many Syrians. One kilogram of tomato is now sold at 125 pounds, up from 35 pounds few months ago.
Fadhliya also agreed that the economic blockade and global sanctions, and the deteriorating security conditions have made it more difficult to control the activities of the overall market, limit and reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of any intervention by the central bank in the foreign exchange market.
He said that speculations in the foreign exchange market, especially with the presence of the licensed exchange companies and many top currency traders who have their own interests, are the main reason behind the rise in the foreign exchange's princes in the market.
Therefore, he said, a total elimination of speculations is difficult now, but noted that they can be reduced or bridled by tightening control on the market by the Central Bank and the competent authorities, and applying legal and deterrent sanctions, in parallel with a positive and effective intervention by the Central Bank that should include pumping appropriate amounts of foreign currency.