KATHMANDU: The high-level three-member committee formed by the Finance Ministry lived up to its expectations today. Yesterday, it was set up to tackle the growing shortage of high denomination currency notes during Dashain.

As per its directive, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) today distributed Rs 650 million to the banks and financial institutions.

In an exceptional move, the Rs 940 million old notes that bore ex-governor of NRB Tilak Rawal’s signature, which had “some technical glitches”, was circulated today to ease the shortfall.

NRB governor Bijaya Nath Bhattarai convened a meeting today, which was attended by all the 26 commercial banks. However, 12 commercial banks sought Rs 100 million and the rest demanded Rs 200 million to fulfil the

demand of their customers.

According to the bankers’ estimate, an additional Rs 5 billion would help tide over the crisis (the delayed French consignment is on its way to Nepal with Rs

15.5 billion). The central bank distributed Rs 350 million to the development banks and finance companies. “Till date, we’ve pumped in around Rs 18 billion in the market. But the demand is for an additional Rs 5 billion,” said deputy governor Krishna

Bahadur Manandhar.

The year-on-year demand for currency notes during Dashain is increasing, an indication to the over-reliance on remittance economy and the growing population. Last year, the NRB had circulated only Rs 12 billion. Going by this figure, the demand has doubled this Dashain. The French company, which bagged the contract for printing and supplying Rs 20 billion high denomination notes, flunked the deadline by two months. “Earlier, it had sent Rs 4.5 billion. While, the rest Rs 15.5 billion is expected only on October 6. The consignment may reach the Kolkata port on October 1. We’ve requested Nepal Airlines Corporation to airlift the stuff from Kolkata to expedite the delivery process,” said Manandhar.

Collector’s item in the making

KATHMANDU: The currency notes bearing the picture of former king Gyanendra Shah, the last monarch of the 240-year-old Shah dynasty, were circulated from Thursday. The notes have the making of a collector’s item for two interesting historical reasons. They not only have deposed king’s picture but also have a “minor technical glitch”. There is a printing error on these notes. The Sanskrit verse on the back of the note should have read Asatoma Satgamaya instead of Asatama Sadgamay. — HNS