In a significant move to enhance security features and align with technological advancements, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has kicked off the process of designing and issuing a new series of banknotes covering all existing denominations.
The SBP, in an official statement released on Tuesday, emphasised the complexity of the issuance process, which involves multiple meticulous steps and stages that demand careful planning and coordination among various stakeholders. Despite the general timeline of 2-3 years for launching a new banknote series, the SBP aims to expedite the process and complete it within the next two years.
As an initial step towards the design process, the SBP has organised an art competition for the new banknote series. This competition is expected to yield diverse and creative ideas and themes that will form the basis for the subsequent phases of development.
The finalised concepts will be shared with renowned professional banknote designers, who will be selected through a competitive process to transform these ideas into the final printable designs for each denomination.
The final designs will then undergo scrutiny by the federal government for approval, ensuring that they meet the necessary standards and security features. The SBP assured the public that the existing banknote series would continue to remain in circulation even after the introduction of the new series.
Any decision regarding the withdrawal of the existing banknotes will be executed gradually and in a phased manner, contingent upon the successful issuance and sufficient circulation of the new banknotes.
The central bank highlighted that the periodic introduction of new banknote series, occurring approximately every 15–20 years, is a common practice among central banks. This practice aims to bolster the integrity of banknotes and integrate the latest technological developments in design and security features, ensuring a secure and reliable currency system for the nation.