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Did you know about the history of paper currency in Pakistan?

Updated: May 15, 2023

A brief timeline of a century of Pakistani currency:

1861: Paper Currency Act, the British Crown gains monopoly of issuing paper currency in British India

1923: series featuring George V was introduced.

1935: The Reserve Bank of India was formally inaugurated.

1938: First five-rupee note was issued by the Central Reserve Bank of British India, featuring George V, signed by the second Governor, Sir James Taylor.

1940: the one-rupee note was reintroduced as a wartime measure, with watermarks changing to avoid the threat of forgery.

August 1947: The Governor General of British India issued the 'Pakistan (Monetary System and Reserve Bank) Order, 1947', making the Reserve Bank of India was to be the common authority for India and Pakistan until 30th September 1948.

14th August 1947 onwards: George V series continued to circulate with modifications: "Government of Pakistan" and “Hakumat-e-Pakistan" inscribed at the top and underneath previous watermarks.

1948: State Bank of Pakistan was formed.

1st October 1948: first “emergency” series of Pakistani rupees issued of 5, 10, and 100 rupee notes, blue, red, and green, respectively, printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company of Great Britain.

1949: 1 and 2 Rupee Notes were issued, green and brown, respectively, printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Company of Great Britain.

1951: 5 and 10 rupee notes reissued, with illustrations put forward in 1948.

1953: new 100 rupee note was reissued and signed by the State Bank of Pakistan governor as security.

1956: reports of organized crime and forgery of Pakistani currency in Calcutta. Another new series of banknotes was suggested.

1957: a new 100 rupee note was introduced

1960s: Hajj currency introduced

1964: 50 and 500 Rupee notes issued

1966: 5 rupee note issued

1970: 10 rupee note issued

March 1971: currency marked with Bangladesh, Joy Bangla, Dhaka, or any pro-civil war sentiment declared illegal by the State Bank of Pakistan. All 100 and 500-Rupee notes were declared to be legal tender no longer.

Early 1972: the previous series of notes was demonetized, new series was issued, this time without inscriptions in Bengali and a change of colors.


This blog has been written by Komal Salman.

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