Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 24th, 2021

The Rise of Prices in the free-market of Afghanistan

After disrupting the import and export system by Taliban, once again the prices are on rising in the free market of Afghanistan. Based on local news, several customs have either fallen into the control of Taliban or surrounded by Taliban. The local expert says, only Dand-e Patan custom that fallen to control of the Taliban has effected at least 30% of the import and export process and so it sharply affected prices in the free market of the country. For example, a few days ago, the price of one kg of chicken was less than 200Af, but now it is more than 300Af. The price of one kg gas was around 50 but now it is around 70 Afs. The price of 16 kg cooking oil was around 1800Af but now it becomes more than 2100Af. The price of 30 eggs was 190 Afs but now it is more than 270 Afs in the Kabul market.
The next factor behind the rising of prices is the falls of Afghan currency against the USD. In recent days, Afghan currency has suddenly fallen from 77 to around 81. According to experts, the growing war, violence, and falls of districts have created distrust of Afghan currency in the country. Now, the people do not trust to save Afghani seeing the worsening situation in the country. Hence, everyone is concerned about the fast depreciating value of the Afghani against dollar in Afghanistan. The local experts believe further decline in the Afghani may more intensely harm people’s lives and small businesses because they are the ones who use Afghan currency and pay the rising price for goods on the local markets.
The other factor that has always created disorders in the country is the abuses from the name of free market system. Although the current constitution of Afghanistan has allowed free market system, it has not allowed injustice under any excuses, but the monopolist traders always misuse from the name of free market. In fact, they justify hoarding and other destructive behavior under name of free market system in the country.  As soon as an event occurs in the east of the country, the prices are sharply increased in the west. Therefore, the government must ensure economic justice and the general spirit of the law. If we look at the general soul of law and general philosophy of making law, law is enacted to ensure social justice and basic human rights in society.  Hence, no one should justify its destructive behavior and economic oppression under name of free market. The free market system cannot justify economic oppression and so no one should further pressurize people on these sensitive conditions. Even if we look at the origin countries of free-market system, no one believes in absolute interpretation of free-market system or else it can be used as a weapon against social and political security of any countries, especially underdeveloped countries such as Afghanistan.
The historic experiences show that a solitary system is neither successful and nor practicable in today’s politicized the world.  Therefore, the modern world economic systems are combined of socialism, communism, mercantilism, defense-mercantilism and also liberalism. Today, the most liberal countries of the world like European countries provide minimum social welfare to all controlling market with anti-monopolistic law. Though their formal system is largely based on liberalism and a free-market system but they are carefully watchful so as to prevent any abuses may have caused by free-market system or any optimistic views.
So, the government is responsible to ensure social justice and social security in their countries. The government should neither allow anyone to use the economy as a weapon against weak people and not let the local factories collapse because of damping policies imposed by neighboring countries. Any threats either in form of terrorist attacks or in form of free-market monopolies, damping or hoarding are seriously controlled by governments. No unfair economic behavior in form of hoarding, economic monopolies which cause inflation, widespread injustice, and class distances, are allowed. In fact, this kind of economic behavior is considered more dangerous than most terrorist attacks. The terrorist attacks may target a single place or group but economic injustice can affect the whole country.
If the government fails to control the rise of prices, it will extremely pressurize the poor class of people. The rich people are accustomed to purchasing their basics needs but those families who do not afford to buy beforehand are extremely pressurized in the country. The people expect the government, the Taliban, and also the traders not to deprive people of basic needs. Unfortunately, the traders always act as opportunists misusing from the chaotic conditions.  The government also seems indifferent in such cases while other countries create a certain anti-monopolistic mechanisms in the country. For example, if we look at the pioneer of free market such as United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, they carefully control their free-market certain by anti-monopolistic law, but here the economic oppression has legal justification in Afghanistan.
As a solution, the security officials must give priority to the security of import and export customs by initiating necessary measures in stabilizing Afghan currency in the country. Secondly, the government has to establish a specific unit so as to regularly supervise the free market system not allows the monopolists to misuses the free-market system and pressuring people under different excuses. Thirdly, the people should also be coordinated with the government as soon as they feel the signs of oppressive behavior they must interfere. And finally, we must remember to reform the mistakes that we made in post-Bonn Afghanistan. Since the recognition of the free-market system until now, it has been putting pressure on people in one way or another.