Acquiring fresh banknotes full of hassles for the general public

Kathmandu, October 1                

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has often failed to ensure hassle-free supply of new banknotes during Dashain though the demand for such fresh notes is often high during the festive season.

The central bank started circulating new banknotes from September 27 from its offices and a few other banks targeting the Dashain festival that started from Sunday. However, customers are finding it difficult to exchange fresh banknotes even this year like in the previous years as long queues could be seen across NRB offices and the designated banks providing the exchange facility.

“Related authorities should know that the demand for new banknotes during Dashain is substantially high and manage distribution system accordingly. The central bank should have circulated such fresh notes through all banks in Kathmandu Valley,” said Sriju Pokharel, a Balaju resident who was found queuing at the Nepal Bank office in New Road for almost an hour.

As per NRB, seven branches of Nepal Bank in the Valley — New Road, Kirtipur, Maharajgunj, Jorpati, Patan, Lazimpat and Bhaktapur — are offering exchange facility of new banknotes to the public. Similarly, people can avail the facility from Rastriya Banijya Bank’s offices in Singha Durbar, Teku, New Baneshwor, Bishal Bazaar, Sano Thimi, Lubhu, Naxal, Balaju and Tokha.

In case of Agricultural Development Bank, the public can exchange new banknotes from its offices located at Gaushala, Gatthaghar, Ram Shah Path, Ratna Park, Thankot and Pulchowk.

Customers can exchange new currencies of five rupees, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations worth up to Rs 18,500 per individual from these banks. People can avail the new banknotes from the banks till October 4. The central bank has estimated that new banknotes worth almost Rs 12 billion will be circulated in the market during Dashain this year.

Meanwhile, the central bank defended itself saying that there was no difficulty in getting new banknotes. “Along with the aforementioned banks, we have also circulated new banknotes among all commercial banks and customers can exchange such fresh currencies from these banks,” informed Laxmi Prapanna Niraula, spokesperson for NRB.

However, Niraula said that the central bank will gradually stop circulating new banknotes during Dashain from next year. “Instead of fresh notes, the demand is for clean notes during Dashain. Thus, the central bank will adopt policies to encourage the public not to deface currencies,” he said.