EID and Eidi go together, for children especially. For that reason demand for new, unsoiled currency notes, especially of smaller denominations, goes up as Ramazan winds down. Yet brand new currency notes are not to be found precisely where they should be. As reported in this newspaper yesterday, Karachi banks were not delivering the promised notes from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) till Monday afternoon. When a reporter asked for the reason, the response of tellers at various banks ranged from “sorry we don’t have them” to the snappy “come next week” retort. Yet there is plenty of fresh currency to be had at the Bolton Market currency bazaar, available at a premium.

The SBP had announced on July 30 that it had made “elaborate arrangements” for supplying new bills to commercial banks by Aug 1. The banks were also told they would be penalised if they didn’t conform to the SBP’s rules, which included a ceiling for each customer and the presentation of a CNIC if an account holder wanted new notes. While these rules made sense, the SBP should also have ensured the timely availability of the new currency at the banks. As usual, it appears the first recipient of the fresh currency was the thriving black market, where notes are available in bulk. How the currency operators were able to beat the banks in the race for the new stocks should not be difficult for SBP authorities to discover. The story in Karachi is undoubtedly being replicated in other parts of the country. There is, however, still time for the central bank to fix the problem and ensure that people across the country can receive their Eidi as it should be: fresh, clean and crisp.

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Comments (3)

Shahid Niaz
August 8, 2012 6:07 am
New notes provided to the banks for the public are sold to these currency traders at a premium by the banks themselves. The currency traders then sell it at enhansed premium to the general public. Every body knows it except for State Bank. It is not a new feature. It is repeated every year.
Falcon
August 8, 2012 9:58 am
Certainly interesting
Asif Ansari
August 8, 2012 10:02 pm
DAWN, focus that issue in right direction. Eid and Eidi mean a single word, especially for children. New notes printed by the State Bank, but it goes where, State Bank and others bank has no answer, but the pople of Pakistan know the answer, these new currency notes join the currency dealers like ever same. The new currency notes joining replication same like Karachi. Here in Hyderabad State Bank officials said we gives these new currency notes to Schedule Banks (NBP, Habib Bank, Muslim Commerical Bank, etc). Schedule Banks said we will starting the selling of new currency notes very soon. But you go to the market, some currency dealers sell it very openly. 10 Rupees new currency notes in single packet exist total of Rs. 1000/= , dealers get commission on this Rs.150/= in Hyderabad. This is my city situation, this type of practice be done all over the country. State Bank and Schedule Banks officials shake hand with currency dealers, these officers provide all the new currency notes to these currency dealers and the other side the people of Pakistan have just see the situation.
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