People across Pakistan are looking for new currency notes on the eve of Eid, and this fad of having new currency notes in the pocket for dishing them out as the Eidi to relatives, and to the beggars is a common scene on the day.
This has become an uncalled for necessity for the people, and gaining importance with the passage of time, and hence the business is increasing for those, who are selling the new notes. People are buying new currency notes on roads, especially near the State Bank buildings, where even women with big shoppers are seen dealing with male customers.
However, pocketing new notes is not as easy, and this has become a business, usually termed as a ‘black market’, while people are seen ‘trading’ in various areas of the city without any interference by the law enforcement agencies. This trend takes off every year, and gains hype ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr as people feel good in giving new notes as Eidi, while they like receiving the same as well. Especially, the happiness of children is visible when they receive new currency notes as Eidi. Also, people feel good to have new currency notes in their pockets on the Eid, and on marriages as well.
The question is: Why do people like to have new notes? It has more to do with the psyche; second is the fad, and the third is the usual ‘tradition’ attached to the occasions. People find that new currency notes also find it fascinating that the new copies are in series as the last digit of new notes number start from one and end with 100. They consider that it makes easier for them keeping track of how much has been given away.
These notes reach the black market through two ways and sold to the interested buyers, who do so without any compulsion. One way is that the State Bank of Pakistan gives directly to widows and second, some black marketers and brokers allegedly get these from the SBP officials. Also the SBP every year as per its policy prints new notes and gives them to banks and widows. Moreover, widows are given the currency notes on monthly fixed quota in an effort to help them earn some livelihood.
However, people usually complain that banks refuse to give new notes to them, if one is not a big client or a friend of the bank employees.
Copies – one contains 100 notes – of Rs 5 and Rs 10 are being sold in the black market for additional charges of Rs 150 and above, while minimum of Rs 250 are being charged for new copies of Rs 50 and Rs 100.
This time around, like on previous occasions, the demand for Rs 5 notes is the highest.