July 14 - 20, 2008

The State Bank of Pakistan has launched new bank notes of the denominations of Rs 50 and Rs 5 bank notes which are being issued by all the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation.

The central bank has launched the new bank notes of small denominations at a time when the inflationary pressures and abnormal price hike of essential items have eroded the purchase power in Pakistan . In this backdrop printing bank notes of small denominations will definitely cost more compared to actual value of the notes. Generally speaking, people treat the bank notes so carelessly that the notes lose their freshness within days after their issuance. It is perhaps in Pakistan only where damaged, spoiled notes are frequently in circulation. People show no respect for the currency notes. These damaged notes are replaced with the new ones which is an additional cost the economy has to pay for mishandling of the bank notes. In other economies damaged, spoiled and overwritten notes are not accepted hence people have to take extra care while handling the bank notes.

Actually, the problem with the currency is its fast depreciation as against other currencies of the world. Strengthening of the money and enhancing value of the bank notes in the eyes of the peoples is the real task. Hopefully, like other countries of the world, the central bank should also initiate steps and issue warnings that the damaged notes would not be accepted in any transaction either with the bank or in private dealings. This would help to improve image and respect of the bank notes in the eyes of the people.

Dr Akhtar, the governor SBP however said that the state-of-the-art security features incorporated in Rs 50 new-design and new Rs 5 bank notes are of international standards and thus minimize the possibility of their counterfeiting. Nevertheless, it is important for the public to be well-versed with these security features so that they can easily recognize a counterfeit bank note when they come across it. Dr Akhtar urged the media to effectively play their vital and constructive role in educating the public by giving wide coverage to the security features of Rs 50 new-design and new Rs 5 bank notes.

It may be recalled that the State Bank has already introduced new-design bank notes of Rs 10, 20, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 denominations. The new-design-upgraded series started gradually by introduction of Rs 20 bank note from 13th August 2005, has now been completed with the launch of Rs 50 new-design and new Rs 5 bank notes from today.

The launch of new high-tech bank notes has helped modernize the banking industry in Pakistan as the new-design bank notes are equipped with machine readable features. This will facilitate the automation of handling of bank notes by banks and use of equipment to detect counterfeiting while processing the bank notes.

Several built-in state-of-the-art security features designed to prevent counterfeit production of Rs 50 new-design and new Rs 5 bank notes are: anti-copy and anti-scan, micro-lettering, micro text security thread, and see-through. Besides special feature for visually impaired persons, latent image of denomination and raised printings are also appearing on new-design bank note of Rs 50 denomination.

The vignette of Gawadar Sea Port is printed on the reverse of the new bank note of Rs 5 denomination and the vignette of Karakoram Peak 8611m is printed on the reverse of new-design bank note of Rs 50 denomination.

It may be pointed out that Rs 5 demonetized bank note with vignette of Khojak Railway Tunnel, Balochistan printed on the reverse of this note is no more a legal tender from 1st July 2005 and should not be used in currency transactions.

The SBP Governor said that the old-design bank notes of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 & 1000 would continue to remain in circulation as legal tender along with the new-design bank notes of these denominations.

It may be mentioned here that the State Bank has started issuing the new orange-green-yellow colour Rs 20 bank note with effect from 22nd March, 2008. This Rs 20 and the other bank note of the same denomination in brown colour will continue to remain in circulation as legal tender.