11 firms pre-qualify for printing notes

Kathmandu, August 10:

11 companies are in the fray for printing fresh bank notes of Rs 100 and Rs 50 denominations, which for the first time in Nepal, will not carry the King’s photo. It will be substituted by a photo of the Mt Everest.

Under the pre-qualification round, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) short-listed 11 different companies for printing fresh bank notes on Thursday.

The Security Printing & Minting Corporation Ltd (SPMC) is the first Indian public sector company to have pre-qualified to print bank notes for Nepal. Till date, Nepal has been getting its paper currencies printed mostly in western European countries.

The other companies include - the Canadian Banknote Company Ltd, Ottawa, China Banknote Printing and Minting Corp, Beijing, Crane AB, Sweden, De La Rue Currency, UK, Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciare, France, Giesecke & Devrient GMBH, Germany, Joh Enschede Security Print, the Netherlands, Perum Peruri, Indonesia, PoLska Wytwornia, Warszawa, Poland and Real Case De La Moneda , Spain.

The currency management department of the central bank has called for global sealed tenders from among the pre-qualified security printers to print and supply Rs 100 and Rs 50 denominations bank notes worth Rs 100 million.

NRB has asked the pre-qualified companies to submit its tenders (both financial and technical) by September 23. It has also asked to submit separate tenders for each denomination.

“The bidder with the lowest quote will be awarded the contract for printing and supplying fresh notes,” said a senior official at NRB, adding that security features will have the topmost priority. NRB had called a global tender for the pre-qualification round on May 30, giving 35 days to prospective companies to submit their details.

The official further added that these companies have been pre-qualified based on ISO certification, financial statements and past experiences. The new notes for the first time will not have the King’s photo.

The ruling king has been featuring on one side of the notes since Nepal started printing bank notes in 1951. Prior to that, transaction took place through the use of coins.

The government earlier this year had decided to scrap the King’s picture from bank notes and substitute it with the Mt Everest and national luminaries.