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Experts urge BB to print quality banknotes

Imported new machine sits idle for unknown reasons

Published : Wednesday, 20 December, 2017 at 12:00 AM  Count : 657
Jibon Islam

Experts have underscored the importance to use the newly purchased money printing machine of Bangladesh Bank to print quality banknotes and take stringent measures to check fake notes.
The existing printing machine for printing taka has become old and failing to produce good quality currency, they claimed. Taking full advantage of the situation, a number of dubious syndicates have become involved in producing and supplying fake Taka across the country, they also said.
According to sources, the existing printing machine for Taka is not working properly; as a result, the quality of the Taka has gone down considerably.
The central bank has already purchased a latest model printing machine from Switzerland, but it is still inoperable for unknown reasons. It purchased the new printing machine approximately a year ago for Tk 60 crore.
After purchasing the new machine, a Switzerland team came to Bangladesh and trained the related officials to operate the machine so to produce good quality Taka.
Preferring anonymity, a Senior BB official told the Daily Observer that the recently imported machine will undoubtedly improve the quality of the Taka as per the requirements. But, I don't know why the new machine is not being used. When the production of new taka commences, the general people can easily differentiate the original notes with fake notes. Unless the new machine starts operating it will not happen", said the official.
Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank M Moniruzzaman and Managing Director of the Security Printing Press (Bangladesh) Ltd Sheikh Azizul Haque will be responsible for producing taka with the new machine.
This Observer Correspondent tried several times to contact the two persons to talk over the subject, but they appeared rather unwilling to talk over the matter.
Mustafa Monour, Qayyum Chowdhury, Hasem Khan and K G Mustafa jointly designed the new Taka of 100, 500 and 1000 by incorporating the portrait of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A good number of people have complained to this correspondent for failing to differentiate between the original and fake notes, namely the notes of Taka 100, 500 and 1000 because of its poor quality.
The central bank asked the Security Printing Corporation (Bangladesh) Limited to print new  paper currency notes of all current denominations with similar designs to make them cleaner and more durable while adding a shiny finish of the image of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
BB sources said , Bangabandhu's image on Taka 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 notes have  become pale and gets blurred if used for too long. "These frequently used notes should be reprinted with a cleaner image of Bangabandhu before being introduced in the markets," another BB official said.
The new notes are already being printed by the Security Printing Corporation Ltd in Saver and will go into circulation in a couple of months.
Earlier this year a group of journalists visited the Security Printing Corporation complex located in the outskirts of the capital.
BB officials said the newly printed notes will also help to reduce the trading of fake notes in the markets. "Controlling fake money is also a reason for printing new notes with the same design but with a bright and clean look," he said.
The existing dirty, damaged and overused notes will be gradually pulled out of market so to help public easily differentiate between genuine and fake notes, he claimed.
The Finance Ministry has attached greater importance to ensure "safety of paper notes" and so the BB has issued the work order to the country's only security printing facility, the official added.
The Corporation produces taka 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 paper notes. Printing cost per note varies - as per their denomination - between Tk 1.59 to Tk 7.62. BB buys them at 15 to 25 per cent-higher price allowing the printer to operate with a profit margin.
The only printing machine now available with the corporation is 30 years old but the government is planning to buy four new digital machines from Switzerland soon, officials said.
Mirza Azizul Islam, former adviser to the caretaker government told the Daily Observer that the existing notes are of poor quality, so, it should be improved.
 "As the central bank had purchased the new model machine for printing Taka, so, the production of the Taka from the new machine should be start promptly and supply the quality Taka in the market so that people can verify easily the fake notes", he said.
The fake currency is delaying the development process of the economy, so, the central bank should immediately circulate the new Taka in the market through producing the new machine.

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