Is Pakistan’s central bank planning to issue of polymer banknotes? SBP issues statement

SBP terms all such rumours "baseless and without substance"
An undated image of the building of the State Bank of Pakistan. — Facebook
An undated image of the building of the State Bank of Pakistan. — Facebook

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Saturday “categorically denied “ news reports circulating regarding the issuance of Polymer Banknotes Series.

Terming such rumours “baseless and without substance”, the central bank — in a statement issued on Saturday — stated: “There is no such plan or suggestion currently under consideration regarding change in the substrate of banknotes from paper to the polymer. SBP uses a cotton based paper substrate which is manufactured locally by the Security Papers Limited, using primarily local raw materials.”

This controversy surrounding the issuance of Polymer Banknotes Series spurred after a bank in Karachi got "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 should be noted 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.