School teachers are forced to transact part of their salaries to bank cards
Bank services are forced on Samarkand teachers compelled to transact a tenth part of their monthly salaries to bank cards as of April 2007. In fact, they are actually paid nine tenths of their salaries and the rest goes to banks directly.
Ipoteka-Bank cards were issued to all teachers. The use of plastic cards in Uzbekistan is not widespread at all, and stores therefore lack the necessary equipment (not to mention bazaars and marketplaces people usually go to). There are only a few stores in all of Samarkand where people may buy something with the bank cards forced on them. These unwilling customers call the assortment in these stores extremely poor.
Customers say as well that shopping with bank cards is sometimes more expensive than otherwise. "The salesman said he was going to withdraw 5% more from my account because his store needed cash," one of Ferghana.Ru sources in Samarkand said. "What could I say or do? I swallowed it." Salesmen from this store denied any such practice as "fraud" when approached by Ferghana.Ru correspondents.
Average salary in Uzbekistan amounts to $60, and 10% of the sum is serious money. Introduction of bank cards against their will angers the users as a restriction on their freedom of choice. It reminds them of the old system of coupons when people were registered at certain stores and could not shop elsewhere.