KATHMANDU, Sept 30: With major festival Dashain and Tihar approaching nearer, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) is planning to circulate clean and fresh currency notes to the general public from October 11. The central bank, however, will distribute cash to the bank and financial institutions (BFIs) from coming Monday.
“This is the amount we have readied for circulation as per our projection of demand. We are in the capacity to supply banknotes as per the demand as we cannot turn away people who come for new banknotes,” Trilochan Pangeni, spokesperson of NRB, told Republica.
Last year, the central bank had supplied Rs 47.42 billion worth of fresh banknotes in the market.
Pangeni told Republica that NRB has arranged Rs 51 billion worth of banknotes of Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination. Similarly, it will be circulating banknotes worth Rs 6.686 billion of Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 denominations.
General public in Kathmandu Valley can get new banknotes from the Thapathali office of the NRB from October 11. People outside the Valley can get new notes from NRB regional offices from the same day.
An individual will be entitled to exchange a total of Rs 22,000 at a time which includes two bundles each of Rs 5 and Rs 10 denominations and one bundle each of Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations, according to Pangeni.
Each bundle contains 100 banknotes.
Nepal Army and Nepal Police and Armed Police Force personnel as well as civil servants will be provided banknotes on the recommendation of their respective offices through a separate counter at NRB’s Thapathali office from October 11 itself.
“This arrangement has been made so that they don’t rush to get banknotes by affecting service of government agencies,” added Pangeni.
General public can also get new notes from BFIs. “We have talked with the central bank and they have assured us that they will provide adequate banknotes for circulation. This means general public will be able to exchange or get fresh notes from the branch offices of BFIs,” Upendra Poudyal, president of Nepal Bankers Association (NBA), said. He, however, warned that the ongoing strike in Tarai districts could make it difficult for BFIs to deliver new notes in their branch offices in Tarai districts.
NEW NOTES WON’T BEAR SIGNATURE OF GOVERNOR NEPAL
However, the new notes won’t bear signature of new NRB Governor Chiranjibi Nepal.
NRB had initiated the tender process to print and supply 160 million units of banknotes of Rs 1,000 denomination in January.
“The new notes undersigned by Governor Nepal will go into circulation during Dashain and Tihar only,” Pangeni.
Nepal was appointed NRB Governor on March 19.
CALL FOR PROPER HANDLING OF NOTES
According to NRB officials, around 10 percent of the banknotes exchanged during Dashain-Tihar festive season are damaged and unfit for circulation. These notes need to be destroyed.
NRB destroyed Rs 26.96 billion worth of banknotes of various denominations in fiscal year 2012/13 alone by burning them.
The central bank officials have urged the public to handle the banknotes prudently without damaging them. Banknotes get damaged mostly during the festival seasons as these notes come into contact of vermilion. “We would like to request public to handle banknotes with respect. They should not fold, put color on them or write on the notes. This will reduce the life of banknotes and inflict huge loss on the state coffer,” said Pangeni.
According to NRB Printing and Coin Minting Bylaws (Directive), 2065, the printing cost of banknote of Rs 1,000 is Rs 4.63.