Is SBP issuing polymer banknotes?

Is SBP issuing polymer banknotes?


A representational image showing Pakistani currency notes of various denominations. — AFP/File
  • No plan to change notes’ substrate from paper to polymer: SBP.
  • Central bank had earlier announced to issue new currency notes.
  • Banknotes with int’l security features to be rolled out in 2-3 years. 

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Saturday denied “baseless” news reports suggesting that the central bank was mulling issuing a polymer banknotes series instead of the traditional paper-based currency notes.

“SBP strongly refutes the reports [regarding issuance of polymer (plastic) banknotes] as baseless and without substance,” the central bank said in a statement, adding that there is no such plan or suggestion currently under consideration regarding the change in the substrate of banknotes from paper to polymer.

The statement comes days after a bank in Karachi received “misprinted” banknotes with two Rs1,000 notes having “blank” back sides.

Responding to the development, the SBP issued a clarification, saying that the risk of such faults remains due to large-scale printing and production of currency notes.

It is pertinent to know that in January earlier this year, the central bank had announced issuing new currency notes in line with the international security features.

“The new notes will be printed with an international security feature. The notes will have new serial numbers, designs, and high-security features,” the SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad had said while stressing that the switchover would not be disruptive.

“Generally, it takes two to three years to launch a new banknote series, however, the SBP intends to complete the process within the next two years,” the central bank said in a subsequent press release.

Meanwhile, on the issue of withdrawal of existing series of notes from circulation, the bank reassured that any decision in this regard would be taken in a gradual and phased manner, once the new banknotes are issued and are in circulation in sufficient quantities.



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