SBP allows circulation of quarantined infected banknotes

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised banks to use the infected banknotes that have completed 14 days quarantine period.

The SBP on Monday issued advisory for banks related to COVID-19 – Uninterrupted Supply of Disinfected Cash at Banks and ATMs.

The SBP previously issued a circular dated March 23, 2020 under which banks were advised to disinfect, seal and quarantine the cash collected from hospitals and clinics, until further orders. The banks were given credit for all such cash so quarantined and kept on behalf of SBP.

In the meanwhile, central banks’ practices on the matter have been reviewed which indicate that quarantine of cash for 14 days is sufficient to disinfect the banknotes, which can then be put back into circulation.

Similarly, the World Health Organization has also advised that the life of the virus on porous surfaces (such as paper banknotes) is lower, compared to other hard surfaces.

In view of the above, banks are allowed to use the quarantined cash, which have completed quarantine period of fourteen (14) days.

Consequently, the credit given to banks on account of quarantined cash would be reversed on the fifteenth (15th) day from each reported date.

However, the facility of same day credit for quarantined cash introduced via FD Circular No. 1/2020 dated March 23, 2020 shall continue with contra debit on 15th day, as stated above.

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