Soiled currency notes to be withdrawn

Central Bank officials will withdraw from circulation soiled currency notes of small denominations directly from people at places such as public markets and economic centres this year, officials said yesterday.

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said for a start notes in the denomination of Rs.10, 20 and 50 will be withdrawn and exchanged with new notes.

He said notes in small denominations do not reach the banking system and as such his officials would be deployed to obtain disfigured or soiled notes directly from people.

“Such notes regularly circulate among the people but rarely reach the banking system,” Mr. Cabral said. “We cannot expect the commercial banks to do this.”

He said it was not good for the image of the country to keep soiled notes in circulation.

“We know tourists are normally averse to have soiled notes,” Mr. Cabral said.

The Central Bank also has a clean-note policy. People are educated from time to time on the importance of keeping currency notes clean. It is an offence to discolour, disfigure or soil currency notes. (Kelum Bandara)

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