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SBV not to print small currency notes for Tết, says cash only for payment, not offerings

Update: January, 10/2018 - 01:00
The State Bank of Việt Nam has said it will not issue low-denomination banknotes for Tết. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hà
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) has announced it will not be printing small currency notes for Tết (the Lunar New Year) this time too, the sixth straight year it has desisted from doing so.

Speaking to the media on Monday, central bank officials said the decision not to issue new notes in denominations such as VNĐ5,000 (22 US cent) and less is meant to cut costs and prevent the use of currency notes for any purpose other than payment.

Traditionally during Tết people give away new small banknotes to pagodas and temples to wish for luck.

Since the SBV stopped printing new notes for Tết in 2013 it has saved VNĐ2.2 trillion, including VNĐ280 billion this year alone, Phạm Bảo Lâm, director general of the central bank’s issue and vault department, said.

The bank has urged relevant agencies and organisations to closely monitor note exchange services and impose fines in case of wrongdoing.

Illegal exchanges will be fined VNĐ20-40 million under Decision 96 of the Government.

When asked about the use of small bills at BOT toll stations recently Lâm said the SBV only issues cash for “reasonable demand.”

“For example, if the BOT toll fee is VNĐ25,000, the appropriate payment mode is a VNĐ20,000 note and a VNĐ5,000 note, or two VNĐ10,000 notes and a VNĐ5,000 note, and not 250 VNĐ100 notes.”

Đào Minh Tú, deputy governor of the SBV, said since it is a “negative payment activity” the central bank “will not support it or the drivers or the BOT tolls.”

He said the SBV prints enough bills of all denominations based on demand but not for purposes like paying toll fee or charity offerings at pagodas.

Lâm said between April and November last year the SBV has ensured there are enough small-denomination bills to fully meet demand.

The central bank would increase the supply of VNĐ10,000 notes by 20 per cent compared to last Tết, he added.

Since the beginning of last month the SBV has been supplying cash to its offices in cities and provinces that have many industrial parks.

It has instructed the offices and banks to ensure ATMs are supplied with enough cash during the holidays.

Phạm Tiến Dũng, head of the SBV’s payment department, said the central bank has instructed credit institutions to resort to cashless payments in case ATMs are “overloaded.”

Any bank allowing an ATM to remain out of order or money for 24 hours would be penalised, he warned. — VNS

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