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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Government Dismisses Rumors of Rs. 5000 Banknote Ban

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) clarified that there are no restrictions in place regarding the usage, ownership, or distribution of Rs5000 banknotes. This statement was issued in response to inaccurate social media reports.

The Ministry refuted the claims of a supposed ban on these currency notes, which arose due to a fraudulent circular bearing the Finance Division’s letterhead that had gone viral on social media. The counterfeit notice, dated September 7, 2023, falsely asserted that the government planned to ban this particular currency note by the end of the month as part of a significant policy change.

“Following the provisions outlined in sub-section (2) of Section 323 within the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), the Federal Government has decided to implement a significant policy alteration to reinforce the financial system and combat unlawful financial activities. Starting from September 30, 2023, the utilization, possession, and circulation of Rs. 5000 currency notes will be prohibited across the entire nation,” the announcement stated. The inaccurate notification also provided advice to both citizens and financial institutions, urging them to exchange or deposit their Rs. 5000 currency notes at authorized banks by the specified deadline, as these notes would no longer hold the status of legal tender thereafter. Additionally, it indicated that the government intends to initiate an awareness campaign to inform citizens about this impending change and furnish guidance regarding the appropriate procedures for exchanging or depositing Rs. 5000 notes.

A fact-checking division under the MoIB, however, refuted the notification and the purported impending ban on the mentioned currency notes, labeling it as ‘false news.’ The Fact Checker MoIB sent the bogus notification on their official X account, formerly known as Twitter, to make it clear that there has been no change in policy regarding the Rs5000 note. Spreading false information is not just morally and legally unacceptable; it also has detrimental consequences for the nation. Everyone should condemn reckless behavior. Reject #FakeNews,” wrote the fact-checking body of the MoIB on X.

Additionally, the Federal Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, disregarded the reports and promised that the government would take measures against anyone responsible for disseminating such “fake information.” “This is not real,” he commented on X. “The Pakistani authorities are prepared to respond to individuals disseminating such erroneous information with the intent of inciting unrest. As mentioned, the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Amendment Bill, 2023 makes it illegal to propagate false information, and doing so is punishable by a Rs. 10 million fine.

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