POKHARA, Sept 27: People from different villages of Kaski and surrounding districts are coming to Pokhara to exchange crisp notes for Dashain celebrations.
“This is the only time when crisp banknotes enter the village. That is why I have come to the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Pokhara office to get new banknotes for myself as well as my neighbors,” Pushpa Raj Baral from Hanspur of Kaski said. “We have no option but to come to city areas as banks in village area provide exchange facility for only up to Rs 1,500.”
Long queues can be seen at the NRB as well as other commercial banks, development bank and finance companies. One has to wait for around two hours in queue to get new banknotes, according to Baral.
Basanta Thapa, deputy director of NRB Pokhara Regional Office, said that one person gets 100 bills each of Rs 5, Rs 10 Rs 20 Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations in a bundle. “People can get one bundle by paying Rs 18,500,” he said, adding that the regional office, so far, has exchanged new notes worth Rs 190 million.
Bank and financial institutions have exchanged crisp notes worth Rs 4.36 billion so far. Banks operating note vault of the central bank has circulated crisp notes worth Rs 3.41 billion in the market. “All of them are not for Dashain celebration though. Some banks have also sent new notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations to the market,” deputy director Thapa added.
He further said that Rs 860 million worth of new banknotes of Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations have been exchanged so far.
Last year, the central bank had circulated Rs 10 billion worth of new banknotes into the market during the Dashain festival last year. “We expect to send similar amount of new banknotes to the market this year as well,” he added.
According to Thapa, Nepal Bank Ltd and Rastriya Banijya Bank Ltd branches operating note vault of the central bank are providing exchange facility in Manang, Mustang, Myagdi, Baglung, Syangja, Tanahu, Lamjung and Gorkha district.
Brihaspati Adhikari, another deputy director with the NRB Pokhara Office, said that use of banknote of Rs 5 an Rs 10 denominations is decreasing in city areas. “However, there is high demand of Rs 5 and Rs 10 bills in village areas. In urban areas, the demand for notes of Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations is high,” he added.