Money exchangers complain about condition of banknotes in circulation

Money exchangers in Afghanistan say banknotes being used in the country are worn out and that the Taliban’s central bank has not injected new notes, printed in Poland, into circulation.

Over the past two years, two printing companies have supplied Afghanistan with new banknotes, with US permission.

The companies, Polish Security Printing Works (PWPW) and Oberthur Fiduciaire of France have both sent replacement notes. Most recently, PWPW printed 10 billion Afghanis (AFN) worth of banknotes and sent some of it to Afghanistan.

But money exchangers complained that the Taliban central bank has not injected the banknotes into the market and that worn-out and torn notes have increased in many provinces.

Members of the public have also started to raise their voices over the condition of banknotes in circulation, with many business owners saying they face problems daily because of the condition of the notes.

Afghanistan is a cash-driven economy, with almost everyone buying daily essentials with notes. As a result, the notes have a relatively short lifespan, which has compounded the problem of getting the currency printed, following the Taliban’s takeover.

Economists in the country estimate that in terms of banknotes, there is a shortfall of at least 100 billion afghanis in circulation.

The Taliban-controlled Central Bank, said however that an amount of 275 billion AFN is currently in circulation, of which 20 billion Afghanis is in small denominations.

The Central Bank has not provided details as to why new banknotes have not been distributed to key cities including Kabul and Herat.