Rs5, Rs50 new currency notes rare in markets

KARACHI - The newly-introduced currency notes of Rs 5 and Rs 50 denominations are rarely available in the markets. A brief survey conducted by The Nation showed that the availability of Rs 5 and 50 denomination bank-notes was not satisfactory. During the survey it was observed that general public was yet to see the glimpses of the new currency notes. Shopkeepers in different areas told The Nation that the new bank-notes rarely reach them. Shopkeepers, whose daily turnover is over two lakh rupees, also complained that they hardly get one or two new currency notes in a week. Last month the State Bank of Pakistan issued new currency notes of Rs 5 and 50 denominations. The central bank has issued new notes to different banks and also providing it to general public from its offices in different cities. But it appears that the new notes are limited in circulation and confining to a few hands. Thus the general public is yet to see the face and salient features of the new bank-notes. It had been observed that the packets of new bank-notes are being black-marketed by the currency dealers, whose sole business is the trade of brand-new currency notes. These people are charging up to Rs 150 extra for providing a packet of new currency notes of Rs 5 and pocket from 250 to 300 rupees for supplying a packet of Rs 50 notes. These people are ready to provide as much amount of packets of new currency notes as is demanded by the customers. As the general public is yet to have a glimpse of the newly-introduced currency notes, from where the currency dealers get brand new notes is a question that arises in the mind. Shopkeepers also claimed that due to unavailability of new notes, the customers are reluctant to accept these notes with a fear that the notes might be fake ones. Another doubt that prevails among them is that their colors sometimes create confusion. They are of the same colors as other notes, with very little difference. Few of the shopkeepers showed machines that are used to detect this slight difference. The shopkeepers demanded that these problems should be solved by the central bank. The general public's view also reflects the same attitude. When asked, a lady customer replied that she has not seen these notes and is not willing to accept them because she says, "they look fake". She says that she would prefer the old notes or coins. Another customer was also of the same opinion. Most of the customers opposed these new currency notes and demanded for their color change and frequent supply. It seems that the people are not acquainted with these notes and prefer old currency notes and coins. Public has also demanded for the color change because of so much resemblance among these and other currency notes. Few of the people like these notes and come up with no such opinion and appreciated this step. The State Bank issued these notes, especially 5 rupee note, due to growing public distress related to 5 rupee coins. People normally don't like to carry these coins. There were complaints about exchange of these coins as shopkeepers or other dealers often avoid paying back while dealing in these coins. Beggars are also another factor as they show disdain to accept the coins, but happily get alms in the shape of currency notes. Meanwhile, the people related to garland business appreciated the issuance of these notes and said these garlands become cheaper are accessible for everyone for wedding ceremonies. "Even with the advantages of these notes we can not avoid the fact that majority of the public has problem in recognizing these notes'', said a shopkeeper.

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