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POST TIME: 1 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Trade of new notes booms
MD HABIBULLA, Dhaka

Trade of new notes booms

The trend of acquiring new currency notes from elders on the occasion of Eid is a time-honoured custom. It is known as ‘Salaami’. This tradition is still kept alive by many as Dhaka’s street markets are booming with new notes ahead of the greatest religious festival of Muslims.   

 As the growing demand for new bank notes has increased significantly ahead of Eid, street traders are doing a brisk business. Though selling money is illegal, people in Dhaka, especially in the Gulistan area, are crowding around vendors to get new notes, sometimes in exchange for old ones.

These money traders say their business booms during Eid. Throughout the year, they trade in small change, but the demand for freshly printed notes escalates at festival times.

According to sources, new bank notes worth about several million taka are being traded daily in the city’s footpath ahead of the festival.

The demand for new currency notes is higher during Eid as many people want to give ‘Eid Salaami’ to their near and dear ones.  

On a visit to some of the city markets, including the Gulistan area, The Independent found that people were buying new notes or exchanging old ones from street traders.

Talking to The independent, a new note buyer, Rubel Islam, said that he came to collect new notes for his kids. “I will celebrate Eid with my family in the village. I will give the notes to the children in the family andthe neighbourhood. The children enjoy it so much and it is the highlight of their Eid day,” he added.

When asked why he was buying new notes in the open market instead of simply exchanging old notes at banks, Rubel said the long queues at banks were unbearable during Ramandan and he had no time for it. “But when I buy money from the footpath, I always check them carefully,” he added.

A note trader in the Gulistan area said he had been doing this business for many years at the same spot.

But the traders were extremely reluctant to talk about the trade and how they got the bundles of fresh notes for selling. They only said they collected new notes by making poor people stand in the queue at the central bank’s new note-distribution branch.

“We exchange new notes of Tk2, Tk 5, Tk 10, Tk 20, Tk 50, Tk 100 and Tk 500 for some profit," said one of them.

“Those who want to get Tk 200 in the  denomination of Tk. 2 must cough up Tk 300.

If you want to get Tk 500 in the denomination of Tk. 5, you must pay us Tk. 650, Tk 1,000 in the denomination of Tk. 10 will cost  Tk. 1,080,” he added.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) released new currency notes worth Tk. 17,000 crore in the market ahead of Eid ul-Fitr this year. The new notes were distributed from all branches of BB across the country from May 22 to May 30. The notes were also available at counters of authorised commercial banks across the country.   

This year, BB released new notes of Tk. 10, Tk. 20, Tk. 50 and Tk. 100.

BB executive director Md Serajul Islam said: “We release new notes before every Eid. It has become a fashion nowadays.”  

However, an individual is allowed a one-time collection of notes up to a maximum of Tk. 18,000.