Lahoris face currency notes shortage
By Noshad Ali
LAHORE: There is a shortage of currency notes worth Rs 5, 10, 50 and 100 in the market, according to a survey by Daily Times.
The shortage has arisen because government and private employees received two salaries in November because of Eid. Blackmarketeers have bought up large bundles of currency and are selling them at 10 percent premiums. Kamran Ali, a manager at a multinational, went to a filling station on Wahdat Road near Muslim Town and asked for fuel but could not get service because the cashier had no change.
Imtiaz, a worker at a Gulberg filling station told Daily Times that banks had also run out of notes as well.
A bank manager said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had printed new small currency notes. He said he got new notes through his personal contacts in the SBP because his clients wanted new ones, especially for Eid. “I deal with bank clients directly and have to provide them new currency notes.”
He said he was told that even old small currency notes were in short supply and a few people near Ichhra were exchanging them in the black market. The bank manager said he had been asked by a friend who works at another bank for new currency notes. His clients were asking for them as well.
The SBP deputy chief manager in Lahore said that the bank had already given new small currency notes to banks so they could provide them to their clients to avoid black marketing. He said the banks may have disbursed those currency notes without keeping in mind future requirements and then they were suffering from the currency shortage. “It is a routine matter. Banks face the same problem every year.” He said this year the problem may be acute because the government had paid its employees two salaries in one month due to Eid. Daily Times has learnt that in the black market a pack of 100 Rs 5 notes was available for Rs 550 to Rs 575 whereas its official worth is Rs 500. A bundle of 1000 Rs 10 was available for Rs 1,050 to 1,100.
Security tightened for Eid
LAHORE: City police has deployed the Elite Force and police commandos all over Lahore for security on Eidul Fitr, a police spokesman said on Sunday. He said City Police Chief Khwaja Khalid Farooq directed superintendents of police (SPs) to increase patrols during peak hours. He also directed them to patrol markets and deploy policemen and the Elite Force at big mosques, imambarghas and parks. “The bomb disposal squad and firefighting personnel have been put on alert,” the spokesman said. He said the officials of other security agencies would help the police. “Security has been tightened in the wake of the recent suicide attacks in Riyadh and Turkey. Police contingents have been deployed at all foreign missions and buildings to cope with any untoward incident,” the spokesman said. —APP