KARACHI: ‘Which coin is this?’ The person manning the counter at a popular convenience store in a Defence Housing Authority Phase-II commercial area asked as he examined the pale golden coin just handed to him by a customer in exchange for the bill.
“Looks fake!” he said before returning it to the customer. “Do you have a 10 rupees note?”
He had been handed a Rs10 coin, which he had not seen before, and which he was not willing to accept.
Issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on October 24, 2016, the Rs10 coin remains quite unknown to most people, although it is still very much in circulation.
“I accept all these coins but then no one takes them from me when I’m returning change,” said the ever-smiling polite elderly gentleman at one of the cash counters of a busy supermarket in Clifton. The mention of the Rs10 coin made him frown, something new for the otherwise quite pleasant fellow.
Rs10 coin and Rs75 note issued by SBP have not gained public acceptance
“Now I have collected a little sack full of these Rs10 coins. No one wants them,” he said.
Then remembering something, he opened his cash register to bring out several Rs75 currency notes, which the SBP had issued just last year. The green-coloured banknote was issued to commemorate the 75th independence day of Pakistan.
The note has portraits of four founders Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Dr Allama Mohammad Iqbal, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan on its front.
It carries the signature of SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad, and yet it is not accepted in the market.
“Similarly, this note is also not accepted. I have so many 75 rupees notes because, again, I have been taking it from customers but no one wants it from me,” he shrugged.
“Some people have even told me strange stories that the note has been rejected by the public and thus recalled by the SBP,” he laughed.
“They say that the image of the Markhor on the reverse side of the note is the problem. They say that it is not a halal animal, which is utter rubbish, although it may be endangered. It is also the Inter-Services Intelligence logo. Oh please, it is just a goat,” he laughed.
At a stationary and gift items shop just next door, young shopkeeper Asim Minhas said that since the coins and notes were in circulation therefore he accepted them all. “Why should I refuse anything that is perfectly okay? The currency is not the problem here, it’s the people’s ignorance that is the problem here. I take both the coins and notes from them and if I cannot use them in the market, I just go and exchange them from SBP,” he said.
Visiting to a huge departmental store in a Clifton mall, one of the staff there, upon seeing the coin, said that it was discontinued ‘long long ago’.
A petrol pump in Saddar also turned down the coin and the Rs75 note. “Monopoly Monopoly khel raheen hain kya? [Is this play money from the board game Monopoly?]” Asked the attendant there.
While speaking to Dawn on the issue, a spokesperson for the State Bank of Pakistan said that both the Rs10 coin and the commemorative Rs75 note, in fact all commemorative notes or coins, introduced by the SBP, are perfectly fine and acceptable for market transactions.
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2023