Turkmenistan will gradually abandon state regulation of prices

On August 26, Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov held a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, despite the fact that he had previously sent government members on vacation for the entire month.

According to the state information agency TDH, Deputy Prime Minister Hojamyrat Geldimyradov , who oversees the economy and finances, reported on the work on reforming legislation and introducing the practice of compiling the state budget for a period of not one, but three years.

Geldimyradov also reported on changes in legal documents regulating the use of financial measures in case of violation of the state regulation of prices . TDH does not give any other details. Commenting on the report, Berdimuhamedov said that the concept of development of Turkmenistan provides for the transition of the economy to market relations and gradual changes in "an effective combination of elements of the market and state regulation."

The legal framework governing the development of the financial sector and pricing policy is of great importance during this transition, the President summed up.

Probably, the “transition to market relations” means a gradual refusal to provide the population with products at fixed prices in state-owned stores.

Until 2014, prices in state-owned stores in Turkmenistan were about the same as in private ones. However, after the collapse in energy prices that year, the manat began to fall sharply.

Previously, dollars were freely sold in banks at 2.85 manats per dollar; in 2015, the official exchange rate rose to 3.5 manats and remains so to this day. At the same time, it is impossible to legally exchange the Turkmen currency for a foreign one at the state rate. This led to the flourishing of the "black market" of currencies, where one dollar can now be bought for 19.5 manats. At its peak, in April 2021, the dollar was worth 40 manats.

Following the dollar, prices in private stores began to rise, but in state-owned stores, the cost of products is still regulated by the authorities based on the official exchange rate, which obviously creates a big burden on the budget. Due to cheaper prices, large queues began to line up in front of state-owned stores, which the Turkmen authorities unsuccessfully tried to fight.

As a result, in May 2021, in order to remove crowds in front of shops, the Ashgabat administration decided to deliver food kits to homes.

In July 2022, correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” reported that the city authorities plan to stop the delivery of products, and transfer the networks of state-owned stores and warehouses to private entrepreneurs.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan