The Syrian regime’s media confirmed that the list of citizens’ luxuries is expanding, to include new basic materials due to the insanely high prices and weak purchasing power.
The state-run Tishreen newspaper reported on Saturday that shopping for items such as meat, sweets, fruits, clothes, shoes, and others has become a luxury in light of the record price hikes that have eroded incomes.
The newspaper stressed that the markets for clothing, shoes, building materials, and furniture have witnessed a near-complete stagnation, and the signs of this stagnation were clearly visible in markets devoid of visitors, except for those who were forced by necessity.
It quoted a clothing merchant as saying that sales fell this season to record levels compared to previous seasons, explaining that the successive rises in the prices of materials, especially foodstuffs, reflected negatively on the rest of the commodities.
The Al-Watan (pro-government) daily quoted the head of the Banking and Finance Committee in the Damascus Chamber of Commerce, Masan al-Nahhas, as saying that the expansion of the list of materials financed by the Central Bank of Syria now allows financing about 99% of imports in dollars through exchange companies licensed to finance imports by registering on the application of the platform designated for that.
He pointed out that the decision included a very wide number of imports of basic and other materials, especially foodstuffs, industry inputs, medicines and others.
Ayman Abdel Nour, the editor-in-chief of All4Syria, told Eqtisad, that the Syrian regime’s goal in expanding the list of financing imports in dollars and at the official exchange rate is to send a message to its citizens that it seeks to secure various commodities and avoid a shortage of some basic commodities, but this plan means a new drain for the Syrian Lira and steady increase in the prices of basic commodities, despite the fact that they will provide the commodity in the markets.
The regime seeks to alleviate the pressure caused by the responsibility to secure the foreign exchange needed for import by resorting to importers to exchange offices to obtain the dollars needed for the import process.
Abdel Nour believes that these measures will stimulate the appetite for the dollar in the floating market, which will reflect negatively on the Syrian pound, which is suffering a gradual collapse. “It is expected that he is qualified to continue with the new decisions,” he added.
On the contrary, regime officials promote that the decision contributes to lowering prices because it allows for accelerating and facilitating import procedures, securing most of the materials needed by the citizen, and increasing the supply of these materials in the local market, allowing the monopoly rings to be broken, if any.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.