It has been recently reported that the currency exchange firms are refusing to accept old-design $100 notes, and charging 3 – 4% fee to exchange the old-design bills – prompting citizens to criticize the central bank for not taking any action. In relation to this, President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Shamim Ahmed Firpo has asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to take strict action against the forex companies.
“The KCCI has been constantly receiving complaints of being given 3-4% less exchange rate for the old notes by exchange companies to its members,” said Firpo. “I urge SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa to immediately initiate an inquiry and take strict penal action against the exchange companies,” he added.
The currency exchange firms are blackmailing the customers and asking them to exchange notes from Dubai if they don’t want to exchange at lower rates, he added. Interestingly enough, Firpo said that he heard reports that currency traders are buying old-design notes at cheap rates and exchanging the same bills in Dubai at higher rates to make hefty profit in the process.
Stressing on the fact that both, old and new design bills are accepted across the globe, Firpo said that the issue kept its grip on Pakistan since similar problem had occurred in January as well. The KCCI president said that the currency traders that charge 3- 4% fee to exchange $100 bills are blaming banks, an allegation banks dismissed immediately.
Many analysts are also of the view that the SBP should intervene as soon as possible by taking strict actions against the currency exchange companies. “The SBP being a vigilant regulator has to thoroughly review the entire situation and accordingly take action against those responsible for looting the public and the business community,” he concluded.