Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati said the bank has managed to supply over $3 billion foreign currency for importing basic goods in the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-April 19).
In the first two months, we had a big drop in non-oil exports, but fortunately [non-oil] exports were revived and the return of foreign currency to NIMA [Iran's domestic Forex Management Integrated System] has accelerated,” Hemmati said.
"As we move forward, a balance will be reached in providing foreign currency for the imports of basic and essential goods, especially raw materials for factories, and this issue will be seriously pursued," he said.
Hemmati noted that like the previous year, the government is going to provide basic goods and raw materials in the current year too, despite the sanctions pressure against the country.
"We have taken important steps to control and reform the banking system, and recent important decisions regarding the bank mergers and interest rates have been the result of disciplinary actions taken by CBI,” he said.
NIMA has been established for exporters to re-inject their earned foreign currency to the domestic forex market. That means it allows exporters of non-oil commodities to sell their foreign currency earnings to importers of consumer products.
In late May 2019, CBI unveiled a directive package that provided the country’s exporters with guidelines about how they should re-inject their foreign currency incomes into the country’s economy.
Based on the new directive, for the petrochemical sector, the exporters should present at least 60 percent of their foreign currency incomes into NIMA, and a maximum 10 percent could be injected into the financial system in the form of hard currency and the rest could be used for importing necessary goods.
The instructions aimed to lead the export revenues from the non-oil exports back into the country’s economy through NIMA, mandate all the exporters of goods and services to guarantee to bring back to the country the foreign currency amount allocated to them by the government at lower prices than the free market.