Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MITC) has issued new regulations to implement Presidential Decree No UP-5177 ‘On Priority Measures for the Liberalisation of Monetary Policy’, which stipulates that prices and tariffs for goods and services must be settled only in the national currency, i.e. the Uzbekistani som. At present, many telecom service providers list tariffs and charge in US dollars. Under the new regulations, however, from 5 September 2017 operators will only be permitted to advertise tariffs or charge for services in soms. Under the same decree, Uzbekistan is set to remove its long-standing policy of pinning the official exchange rate to the US dollar, a system which created a wide gulf between the official exchange rate (around UZS4,210 to the dollar) and the real value of the som, more closely represented by its black market value (around UZS7,500 to the dollar). In order to protect customers from potential price increases caused by the transition, operators will adapt their tariffs to soms based on the official exchange rate on 29 August 2017. As such, a service previously charged at USD10 under the old policy will now be priced at around UZS42,100 regardless of the fluctuations in the value of the som from 5 September.
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