In the aftermath of the stunning increase of foreign currencies' exchange rate against the Syrian pound, the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) re-intervened quickly and introduced a package of measures that led to a drop in the rate by nearly 30 Syrian pounds per U.S. dollar.
On Monday, the exchange rate of the Syrian currency hit the record high of 210 Syrian pounds against a dollar in the black market, up from 170 Syrian pounds a day earlier.
The increase made the Syrian pound lose around 77 percent of its value since the outbreak of the unrest in the country in mid- March 2011, and raised concerns among Syrians and further increased the prices of the already-expensive food stuff.
The CBS revealed that it had started as of Tuesday the selling of hard currency to banks to finance imports in line with the market's needs, noting that it sold some eight million dollars at 175 Syrian pounds per dollar.
On Wednesday, Governor of the CBS, Adib Mayaleh, said the bank sold 50 million euros (about 67 million dollars) to exchange offices to fund non-commercial operations and to meet individuals' demand of hard currency by 1,000 euros (1,337 dollars) for each person per month, Syria's state-run SANA news agency reported.
The bank issued recently a decision allowing the Commercial Bank of Syria to sell foreign exchange to citizens at a price to be set on a daily basis by the central bank and by 1,000 euros to each citizen monthly, Mayaleh was quoted as saying.
He pointed out that the black market had positively reacted to the new measures taken by the central bank, saying that the Syrian pound's exchange rate against the dollar fell immediately in the black market by around 30 Syrian pounds in a single day.
"This confirms that the reasons for the high real exchange rate were unreal and unjustified because the central bank is continuing its procedures to re-adjust the exchange rate," he said.
Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said Tuesday that the main job of the government would be to improve the citizen's standard of living in spite of the cessation of vital sectors and the increase of expenditure.
"The government is committed to combating corruption, smuggling of oil products, punishing manipulators in the national economy and the excessive increase in the prices," al-Halqi said during a weekly cabinet session.
The government has taken a package of measures to boost the capabilities of the national economy to restore the price of the Syrian pound back to normal and combat those who speculate with its price, he said.
Meanwhile, Qadri Jamil, minister of internal trade and consumer protection, reiterated that the exchange rate would drop gradually to 100 Syrian pounds per dollar soon owing to the new government measures and the positive intervention of the central bank.
The economic sanctions on Syria and the protracted crisis that erupted 27 months ago have dried up tourism, the main lifeline for the sluggish Syrian economy, raised inflation to over 50 percent and made almost half of the Syrian people living below or around the poverty line.