LAHORE – Pakistan has witnessed a 100 percent increase in currency in circulation from Rs. 1,224 billion to Rs. 2,500 billion during the last five years, said Kazi Abdul Maktadir, Deputy Governor Operations, State Bank of Pakistan.
Every year, on average, 1.9 billion pieces of currency notes of various denominations are printed from 2009 to 2014.
He was addressing participants of Conference on Currency Management: Strategies for the Future, organized by State Bank of Pakistan at a local hotel in Lahore today.
Muktadir said that to better manage the rising levels of currency in circulation, improving quality of banknotes in circulation and bringing sophistication in the currency management processes, SBP is now moving ahead with the procurement of state-of-the-art cash handling machines for sorting, bundling, and shredding. With one-stop solution machines that will be capable of sorting, detecting counterfeit, shredding, preparing packets and bundles SBP aims to bring efficiency in the area of banknote processing through latest technology.
Acting Governor State Bank of Pakistan Saeed Ahmad has said that the SBP sees total transformation of cash processing business from manual to automation in next five years and thus would like to see commercial banks aligning their plans with State Bank in this direction.
He said that banknotes are face of a central bank and ensuring circulation of clean notes, removal of soiled and counterfeit notes, and redistribution of fit notes in the system is amongst key responsibilities of the SBP as all necessary steps are being taken to this effect.
Saeed Ahmad elaborated that the SBP has been making extensive efforts to implement its clean notes policy for the last 10 years but with limited success largely due to lack of automation in cash processing. “We have thus planned fast track automation of currency management function both at the central bank and commercial banks level,” he added. He also underscored the role of commercial banks in automation of their cash processing systems.
The Acting Governor elaborated that automation of cash processing at SBP is necessary but it could not be effective in achieving its objective of ensuring adequate and uninterrupted supply of high quality and clean banknotes across the country unless commercial banks also automate their cash processing systems.
The central bank is developing a documentary for educating the masses about the security features of banknotes. Further, a smart phone application on Pakistani banknotes designs and security features is also being developed for enhancing public awareness.
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