Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senators have called for the discontinuation of the Rs5,000 currency note in a bid to end corruption and inflation.
Senator Mohsin Aziz tabled a resolution in the Upper House of Parliament on Monday, seeking a ban on the highest denomination.
He said that the Rs5,000 note is used for corruption, terrorism, and smuggling.
Senator Aziz said that Rs5000 currency notes worth Rs3.5 trillion have been issued to date. Of which, he said, Rs5,000 notes worth Rs2 trillion were not in circulation and are stored in “safe deposit”.
He claimed that these are the proceeds of money laundering, tax evasion, and smuggling, which have been blocked.
He said that a limited time period should be given to surrender the highest denomination.
Another PTI Senator Waleed Iqbal joined Aziz’s call to ban the Rs5,000 currency note, saying that digital payments should be promoted to reduce currency circulation.
Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi responded to the senator’s claims, saying that Rs5,000 currency notes worth 905 million have been issued so far and added that Rs4.5 trillion are in circulation at the moment.
Solangi said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) operates under its laws and the previous government granted “too much” autonomy to the central bank.
This is not the first that any official has held the highest denomination note responsible for the increase in corruption.
In September this year, former Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chief Shabbar Zaidi insisted that the discontinuation of Rs5,000 notes and curbs on the physical movement of dollars is key to curbing the cash economy in the country.