KATHMANDU, Sept 28: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has started to provide exchange facility for bank notes for the festival of Dashain, from Friday.
According to the NRB’s Currency Management Department, the central bank has collaborated with Nepal Bank Limited, Rastriya Banijya Bank, and Agricultural Development Bank inside the valley to provide exchange facility for Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, and Rs 100 banknotes.
The note exchange service is available from September 27 through October 4.
Till few year ago, the NRB also used to provide note exchange service from its office located at Thapathali in Kathmandu.
However, after the building was damaged in 2015 earthquakes, this service is being provided through the NRB’s central office at Baluwatar.
The demand of new notes is high during the time of Dashain and Tihar as new notes are used for dakshina (offering) during those festivals.
Laxmi Prapanna Niraula, spokesperson of the NRB, said: “An individual can get new notes up to the value of Rs 18,500 against old notes. We estimate to provide exchange of about Rs 13 billion during the festivals.”
According to the NRB, seven branches of Nepal Bank Limited, including those at New Road, Kirtipur, Maharajgunj, Patan, Lazimpat, and Bhaktapur will provide new notes.
Similarly, Rastriya Banijya Bank will provide note exchange facility from Singha Durbar Plaza (premises of Singha Durbar), Teku, Naya Baneshwar, Sano Thimi, Bishal Bazar, Naxal, Balaju, Lubhu, and Tokha branches in the valley. Likewise, Agricultural Development Bank will provided note exchange service from six branches including those at Gaushala, Gatthaghar, Ramshah Path, Ratna Park, Thankot, and Pulchowk.
Besides the Kathmandu Valley, very few banks outside Kathmandu provide note exchange service. According to the NRB, such facility is provided in Biratnagar, Janakpur, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Siddharthanagar, Dhangadi, and Birgunj outside the valley.
According to the NRB, people do not have to stay in long queues to get new notes because of the new arrangement through the banks. They need to get a coupon and wait in line until their turn comes. Senior citizens and differently-abled persons need not stay in the queue.
People observing the Dashain and Tihar festivals in Nepal want to get new banknotes during this time, as is evident from the crowd of people visiting the banks for exchange of notes.
Issuing a notice, the NRB has urged the public to handle the new banknotes with utmost care and not write anything on it or use it carelessly. If someone is found defacing a note, then they could be sent to jail for up to three months and if someone harms a note knowingly, they may be jailed for up to three years.