A commission has called for an appropriate and legal mechanism to allow people to deal in foreign currencies, according to Enab Baladi.
The Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities has demanded to amend the decree on criminalizing those who deal in dollars in the areas controlled by the Syrian regime.
On Tuesday, the head of the commission, Abed Fadliya, proposed to amend Decree No. 3 (2020), which criminalizes dealing in the dollar, according to Melody FM. Fadliya called for the creation of official outlets for economic actors to make transactions using dollars.
On Jan. 18, 2020, the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad issued Decrees 3 and 4, imposing tougher penalties on those who deal in currencies other than the Syrian pound.
Decree No. 3 imposes a prison sentence and a fine for those who use other currencies. According to the decree, every person who deals in anything other than the pound as a means of payment “shall be punished with intermittent hard labor for a period of no less than seven years.”
Decree No. 4 stipulates the imposition of temporary detention and a fine of one million to five million pounds “for everyone who announces, publishes, or re-publishes fabricated facts or false or fictitious allegations to cause deterioration or instability in national banknotes or the exchange rates specified in official bulletins or to undermine confidence in the resilience of the state’s cash and bonds.”
Fadliya spoke of the difficulty in stabilizing the current exchange rate of the pound due to the lack of foreign currency in Syria.
He said that any central bank in the world “would be unable to establish and maintain an exchange rate unless it has a stock of foreign currency.”
Fadliya added that exchanging 100 dollars at the official rate set by the Central Bank at the border when entering Syrian territory is considered a “small sum” because it is paid to the state. Yet, the outcome of this measure is “relatively small,” and we cannot consider that it supports the strategic stockpile of foreign currency, but is rather used to cover the cost of the import of some limited essential needs.