The Pakistani rupee

Published on by KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ

The Pakistani rupee  is the official currency of Pakistan. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank of the country. The most commonly used symbol for the rupee is Rs, used on receipts when purchasing goods and services. In Pakistan, the rupee is referred to as the "rupees", "rupaya" or "rupaye". As standard in Pakistani English, large values of rupees are counted in terms of thousands, lakh (100 thousand) and crore (10 million).

History  

The word rūpiya is derived form Sanskrit word rūpya, which means "wrought silver, a coin of silver",[2] in origin an adjective meaning "shapely", with a more specific meaning of "stamped, impressed", whence "coin". It is derived from the noun rūpa "shape, likeness, image". Rūpaya was used to denote the coin introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his reign from 1540 to 1545 CE.
The Pakistani rupee was put into circulation in Pakistan after the dissolution of the British Raj in 1947. Initially, Pakistan used Indian coins and notes simply over-stamped with "Pakistan". New coins and banknotes were issued in 1948. Like the Indian rupee, it was originally divided into 16 annas, each of 4 pice or 12 pie. The currency was decimalised on 1 January 1961, with the rupee subdivided into 100 pice, renamed (in English) paise (singular paisa) later the same year. However, coins denominated in paise have not been issued since 1994.

Coins

In 1948, coins were introduced in denominations of 1 pice, ½, 1 and 2 annas, ¼, ½ and 1 rupee. 1 pie coins were added in 1951. In 1961, coins for 1, 5 and 10 pice were issued, followed later the same year by 1 paisa, 5 and 10 paise coins. In 1963, 10 and 25 paise coins were introduced, followed by 2 paise the next year. 1 rupee coins were reintroduced in 1979, followed by 2 rupees in 1998 and 5 rupees in 2002. 2 paise coins were last minted in 1976, with 1 paisa coins ceasing production in 1979. The 5, 10, 25 and 50 paise all ceased production in 1996. There are two variations of 2 rupee coins; most have clouds above the Badshahi Masjid but many don't. This is noted by very few people. The one and two rupee coins were changed to aluminium in 2007

Banknotes

On 1 April 1948, provisional notes were issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, for use exclusively within Pakistan, without the possibility of redemption in India. Printed by the India Security Press in Nasik, these notes consist of Indian note plates engraved (not overprinted) with the words GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN in English and “Hukumat-e-Pakistan” in Urdu added at the top and bottom, respectively, of the watermark area on the front only; the signatures on these notes remain those of Indian banking and finance officials.[4]
Regular government issues commenced in 1948 in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 rupees. The government continued to issue 1 rupee notes until the 1980s but other note issuing was taken over by the State Bank in 1953, when 2, 5, 10 and 100 rupees notes were issued. Only a few 2 rupees notes were issued. 50 rupees notes were added in 1957, with 2 rupees notes reintroduced in 1985. In 1986, 500 rupees notes were introduced, followed by 1000 rupees the next year. 2 and 5 rupees notes were replaced by coins in 1998 and 2002. 20 rupee notes were added in 2005, followed by 5000 rupees in 2006.
All banknotes other than the 1 and 2 rupees feature a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the obverse along with writing in Urdu. The reverses of the banknotes vary in design and have English text. The only Urdu text found on the reverse is the Urdu translation of the Prophetic Hadith, "Seeking honest livelihood is worship of God." which is حصول رزق حلال عبادت ہے (Hasool-e-Rizq-e-Halal Ibaadat hai).
The banknotes vary in size and colour, with larger denominations being longer than smaller ones. All contain multiple colours. However, each denomination does have one colour which predominates. All banknotes feature a watermark for security purposes. On the larger denomination notes, the watermark is a picture of Jinnah, while on smaller notes, it is a crescent and star. Different types of security threads are also present in each banknote.

Exchange rate

The Rupee was pegged to the British Pound until 1982, when the government of General Zia-ul-Haq changed it to managed float. As a result, the rupee devalued by 38.5% between 1982/83 and 1987/88 and the cost of importing raw material increased rapidly, causing huge pressure on Pakistan finances and damaging much of the industrial base built up by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The Pakistani rupee depreciated against the US dollar until the turn of the century, when Pakistan's large current-account surplus pushed the value of the rupee up versus the dollar. Pakistan's central bank then stabilised the exchange rate by lowering interest rates and buying dollars, in order to preserve the country's export competitiveness. The year 2008 has been termed a disastrous year for the rupee after the elections and until August 2008 it had lost 23% of its value since December, 2007 to a record low of 79.2 against US Dollar.[7] The major reasons for this depreciation a huge current and trade accounts deficits had been built up since the credit boom in Pakistan post 2002. Due to rising militancy in the NWFP and FATA areas FDI began to fall and the structural problems of the balance of payment where exposed, a disastrous situation occurred where Foreign Reserves fell to as low as 2 billion US dollars. However by February 2011 Forex reserves had recovered at set a new record of 17 billion dollars. Of the 17 Bllion USD forex >10 Billion is borrowed money and Interest applicable..[3]
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