POKHARA, Oct 14: Banks and financial institutions in Pokhara have been facing shortage of fresh bank notes for the upcoming Dashain, although Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) had said that it would circulate sufficient new notes to all the banking institutions in the country.
After NRB could not provide them sufficient new bank notes, banks in Pokhara have decided not to provide new notes to their customers in Dashain festival.
The bankers, who reached the NRB with checks of around 3 million rupees for the new bank notes, were angered after NRB provided them between Rs 200,000 to Rs 800,000 based on their transaction.
The banks were of the opinion that it was better not to distribute new notes as NRB failed to provid even one third of the total demand. Even those banks receiving new notes worth Rs 800,000 said it will be insufficient even to meet the demands of 200 customers.
“There are 40-50 bank staffs themselves who seek to exchange the new notes. We are at a loss about who we should provide the new notes to”, said a banker. The Pokhara Branch Manager of NRB, Bholanath Baral conceded that it could not supply the new bank notes as per the demand in Pokhara. He also requested the bankers to manage with whatever had been provided.
The spokesperson of NRB, Bhaskarmani Gyawali had said that NRB would issue new bank notes of 25 billion rupees and all the banks in the country.
NRB had even warned of action against banks if they would not provide sufficient new notes to the customers. Criticizing the double standard of NRB, the bankers in Pokhara complained that the new notes of around 800,000 rupees would be like a drop in the ocean among 18 to 20 thousand customers.
“No bank can distribute new notes to their customers at present. NRB has made a mockery of banks by providing them with so few new notes when thousands of their customers want to exchange old notes for new,” said another banker. He further expressed anger that NRB lied to them.
According to Chief Executive Officer of Muktinath Development Bank Bharatraj Dhakal, NRB scantly provided new notes even after repeated requests for more. The Managing Director of OM Finance, Buddi Malla said they were provided with only Rs 800,000 of new notes against their demand of 2 million rupees.
Bishow Mohan Adhikari, the CEO of City Development Bank ruled out the possibility of distributing new notes due to the scarce quantity provided by the NRB.