Cash-strapped Pakistan to introduce new series of currency notes with security features; here’s why

Pakistan is set to introduce a new series of currency notes embedded with advanced security features to combat the persistent issue of counterfeit currencies. The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Jameel Ahmed, announced that these new notes would include unique security identifiers and updated designs to modernize the nation’s currency system. 

This move aims to bolster trust in Pakistan’s monetary system and instill confidence among businesses and citizens. The new currency notes will be introduced gradually, replacing the old ones in circulation. The SBP has been issuing new banknote series since 2005, starting with the Rs 20 denomination and followed by Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500, Rs 1000, and Rs 5000 currency notes, news agency PTI reported. 

The latest initiative reflects the central bank’s commitment to keeping pace with global trends and ensuring the financial integrity of the Pakistani rupee. To ensure the genuineness of the banknotes, various security features have been incorporated. 

For instance, the Rs 5000 note has a security thread that appears as yellow and blue fluorescent bands under ultraviolet light, while the Rs 1000 note includes a partially embedded window security thread with the denomination numeral visible within it. Additionally, the notes are printed using the Intaglio Process and feature anti-scan and anti-copy line patterns to prevent exact replication through scanning or photocopying.

The SBP has also issued a clean note policy, mandating that only clean banknotes are to be issued to the public and account holders, with soiled notes being withdrawn from circulation for destruction. Furthermore, the introduction of a commemorative Rs 75 note in August 2022 marked Pakistan’s 75 years of Independence, adding to the diversity of the currency in circulation.

The decision to issue new notes is part of a broader strategy to address the challenges posed by counterfeit currency and the underground economy. While the transition to new notes is expected to be smooth, the central bank is taking measures to minimize disruption to public and commercial activities during the implementation phase.

As of today, the plan for the new currency notes has been unveiled, signaling a significant step forward in Pakistan’s efforts to secure its financial transactions and curb illegal activities associated with fake currency.

Experts are of the opinion that the Pakistani economy is influenced by the illegal use of black money which is easier due to the widespread circulation of higher denomination notes. “It is the right step to ensure the integrity of Pakistan’s monetary system but will this include demonetisation has to be seen,” said Sohail Farooq of the Capital Investment.

Farooq further said, “If new currency notes are circulated, it will ensure reliability in circulation and also give businesses confidence.” Another banker noted that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) must ensure there is no inconvenience to the public and businesses during the implementation of the new currency. 

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