KARACHI: For the first time in many years, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and commercial banks did not issue new currency notes to the people ahead of Eid ul Fitr, which allowed the currency mafia to take advantage of the situation.
Every year on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr there is an increased demand for new currency notes as people prefer giving fresh notes to their loved ones as Eidi.
However, this year, the SBP remained mysteriously silent; neither was a policy formulated nor did the central bank announce anything.
Moreover, commercial banks also did not issue fresh notes to the people. However, new notes were available in large quantities in the black markets which were being sold at exorbitant prices as Eid ul Fitr is just around the corner.
With rising demand across Pakistan, prices are also rising.
According to a survey, Rs150-Rs200 are being charged additionally on a bundle of Rs10 notes, while more than Rs300 on a bundle of Rs20, Rs800-1,000 on a bundle of Rs100 notes and Rs1,000-1,500 on a bundle of Rs500 notes.
It is worth mentioning that initially, people were able to get new currency notes on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr from the counters of the central bank.
However, later the central bank started issuing notes through the SMS method in which the people sent their CNIC numbers and in return, they received a code which was needed to receive fresh notes from banks.
Surprisingly, this year the central bank remained silent over the matter and its public relations department also failed to respond positively to repeated calls.