Kabul residents frustrated over surge in worn banknotes

KABUL, Afghanistan — Residents of Kabul are expressing their frustration over an increase in worn-out Afghani banknotes in circulation, calling it a significant obstacle to daily transactions.

The community has urged the Central Bank, now under Taliban control, to inject new Afghani banknotes into the economy. “When we go to the gas station or shopping, they don’t accept these banknotes. So, what are we supposed to do with them?” inquired Jamaluddin, a Kabul resident.

Echoing this sentiment, Faisal, another local, highlighted the challenges the deteriorated currency presents. “The banknotes circulating in the market are in poor condition. We’re struggling with this issue,” he said.

Da Afghanistan Bank, the nation’s central banking authority, disclosed earlier that it had incinerated nearly 5 billion Afghani in damaged currency. Despite this, citizens report a prevalent circulation of tattered notes, particularly the 50 and 100 Afghani denominations, causing widespread inconvenience.

Analysts attribute the prevalence of worn banknotes to their physical handling and the absence of automated machines. The arrival of the first consignment of new Afghani banknotes in November 2022 marked a significant step since the Taliban’s ascent to power. While the administration has pledged to distribute new currency, specifics regarding the quantity remain undisclosed.