Measures afoot to curb menace of counterfeit currency: SBP
According to a press release by SBP, the issue of counterfeit currency notes in circulation was discussed during a briefing given by a team from SBP to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance. The Chairman of the committee asked the SBP team to investigate the complaints by public about them having received such notes from some banks.
“It is unfortunate that the issue was highlighted out of proportion in a section of the media with the connotation that banks are involved in injecting counterfeit currencies in circulation systematically. The State Bank categorically rejects any such news items and clarifies that the views expressed in the meeting have wrongly been presented in the media”, the press release read.
According to SBP, it has adopted a three pronged strategy to manage this risk with strategy aims at: i) ensuring state of the art security features in our banknotes, which are difficult to counterfeit; ii) developing necessary capacity and infrastructure with banks to issue genuine and authenticated banknotes to the public; and iii) creating awareness amongst general public about the security features of our banknotes. Following the strategy SBP has issued new series of banknotes between 2005-2008 with significantly enhanced security features comparable with those of Euro, Pound Sterling, and US Dollar.
The banks will be required to issue only sorted currency to the masses from their cash counters and ATMs to ensure that they issue genuine and authenticated banknotes to the public. The currency will not be issued unless they are sorted. SBP has advised banks to install banknotes authentication and sorting machines to ensure that sorting of the notes does not remain vulnerable to error.
“SBP is also installing state of the art high speed banknote processing machines in its subsidiary SBP-BSC, besides using the desk top note sorting machines. This measure will significantly improve the banking system’s capacity to check the currency counterfeiting”, the release read.
The press release added that the State Bank is using different measures to create awareness amongst general public about the security features of Pakistani currencies while campaigns under the title “Rupae Ko Pechano” are run occasionally under which public awareness programs are held across the country, besides newspaper advertisements, website pages, and placement of posters at banks’ branches, SBP-BSC offices and other important public places.
“A short documentary on the security features of the banknotes has been prepared, which is being launched during the current month. Moreover, a smart phone application has also been developed to enable the general public to have complete information about security features of banknotes on their finger tips”, SBP stated.
“During the briefing to Senate’s standing committee meeting, the committee was shown the documentary and apprised about the mobile application. The committee was highly appreciative of the initiative and recommended the government to declare it a public service message for its free of cost display on TV channels”, the SBP added.