KARACHI – Black-marketeering continued in the city ahead of the new currency notes before Eid festival, as bankers have failed to provide new currency notes to their customers because of minimum quota allowed by the State Bank of Pakistan.

According to details, few banks remain opened in the city on Saturday on the directives of Supreme Court of Pakistan but could not facilitate the public looking for new currency notes.

Various bankers complained that the State Bank did not give the quota as per requirement which resulting banks facing the difficulties and unable to accommodate the account holders.

Bankers when contacted said that we could not even managed to get the new currency notes for bank staffers and purchased from local currency vendors of money market.

On the other side, local currency vendors in money markets have charged additional amount on each packet of notes, depends upon the value of the notes.

Ayaz Shah, a local businessman, told TheNation, “I visited various banks a number of times but bank staffers declined to give the new currency notes and finally I bought the notes from Bolton Market. I have paid 700 rupees extra on each packet of Rs50 and Rs1,000 on the packet of Rs100. He also pointed out that they charged rupees 400 on the packet of rupees 10, and 500 on the packet of rupees 20.

Meanwhile, the SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP BSC) issued fresh currency notes worth Rs114.23 billion to the commercial banks during the holy month of Ramazan.

According to the break-up, the field offices of SBP BSC issued fresh currency notes of Rs10, Rs20, Rs50, Rs100, Rs500, Rs1000 and Rs5000 denominations amounting to Rs3.50 billion, Rs1.95 billion, Rs2.85 billion, Rs7.63 billion, Rs27.25 billion, Rs67.28 billion and Rs3.77 billion respectively. SBP BSC fully utilised the large network of over 10,000 branches of commercial banks for distribution of fresh currency notes to the general public during Ramazan.

The branches of commercial banks were asked to issue only one packet each of Rs10 and Rs20 per person to the visiting general public/account holders from August 1 till the last working day before Eidul Fitr on showing original Computerised National Identity Card along with the photocopy of it for record.

Banks’ branches, however, were allowed to issue a maximum of 5 packets each of Rs.10/- & Rs.20/- denomination fresh notes to their corporate clients on receipt of request on the company’s letter head duly signed by the authorised representative.

The SBP through a circular had advised the banks not to issue bundles of small denominations (Rs10 to Rs100) of fresh currency notes, which were issued to them by the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP BSC), as the same can be sold in the market on premium.  The SBP had also warned the banks that it will impose fines on them at the rate of Rs0.1 million per wrapped bundle (10 packets) and Rs50,000 per five packets (in serial) of fresh currency notes found on sale in the market. SBP has started imposing penalty on banks for violating its instructions.

The SBP has instructed the banks to keep sufficient amount of cash in their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) so that general public do not face difficulty in getting currency notes from ATMs during Eid/closed holidays. It has also warned the banks that it will impose fines on them, if their ATMs are not found working during Eid holidays. The inspection teams of the SBP BSC will monitor the working and availability of cash in ATMs during Eid holidays.

It may be pointed out that the SBP BSC had issued fresh currency notes worth nearly Rs112 billion for general public during last year’s Ramazan.