Torn and mutilated banknotes have significant implications for the economy of the country, says the Central Bank.
Officials from the Central Bank of Afghanistan (CBA) on Monday said that the bank is assessing a plan to print plastic banknotes for the country.
Statistics show that annually banknotes to the value of over 3.3 billion Afs are aging and become out of use over time.
According to CBA, the issue of torn and mutilated banknotes has significant implications for the economy of the country.
“We are suffering major losses whenever we burn the damaged notes. The burning of banknotes itself is a burden and impacts the environment. Therefore, we are considering publishing plastic or hybrid banknotes,” said Wahidullah Nawsher, first deputy of CBA chairman.
“Old banknotes in circulation have not decreased but increased and this is surprising. We recommend that not only members of the parliament, but also the people must be aware how many banknotes are distributed and how many are burnt,” said MP Najia Babakarkhail.
Currently, it costs 3.5 Afs to print one banknote.
The CBA says, on average, the old banknotes cause harm to the national economy of over 11 billion Afs.
“I have seen the banks distribute old banknotes to the people and tell them that there will no problem. But whenever the people conduct transactions with the banks, they experience a lot of problems,” said Hamidullah, a resident of Kabul.
Meanwhile, some lawmakers have said that the presence of mutilated banknotes in local bazaars is concerning.
“Our money exchangers who work in the bazaars are not doing this but outside the Sarai Shahzada market there some people are exchanging new banknotes with old notes with some difference in the price,” said money exchanger and member of the Forex Dealers’ Union.
The presence of contaminated and mutilated banknotes has also led to corruption.