DUSHANBE, February 7, Asia-Plus  -- “The gold and foreign currency reserves held by the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) in 2005 remained unchanged from the previous year at $180 million, and are unlikely to grow this year,” Murodali Alimardonov, Chairman of the NBT, announced at a briefing in Dushanbe on February 6.  

Tajikistan’s central bank head noted: "This year Tajikistan does not plan to significantly increase its gold and foreign currency reserves considering them quite enough.”  “We need to give the market a chance to develop," Alimardonov said.  

Tajikistan''s money supply (the total amount of money available in the economy) stood at $280 million on February 1, and is expected to increase to $350 million in April.

The Tajik central bank chairman highlighted that the somoni, the local currency introduced in 2000, has a flexible exchange rate, and noted that fluctuations in its value against the U.S. dollar had not exceeded 5% during 2005.  "We must not intervene to strengthen the dollar significantly against somoni, as the market has its own laws," he said.

            Murodali Alimardonov noted that US$99 million written off by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Tajikistan have been reckoned as own reserves of the country and would go to providing development of social sector of the republic.   

Besides, a volume of investments in the country’s economy is supposed to increase this year, “and we want to strengthen the banking system”, Alimardonov noted.  But he did not name the volume of real investments, just noting that “they are sizable.”