Kathmandu: Any damage caused to currency notes and coins by tearing, burning, writing and drawing lines on them without the order of authorized person will be crime in Nepal as per a new law coming into force from Aug. 17.
As per the Criminal Procedure Code Act 2017, those involved in causing damages to currency notes and coins through aforementioned acts should face imprisonment up to three months and fine up to 5,000 Nepali Rupees (45 U.S. dollar).
It is the first time that the law has made provision of penalizing those who write or draw lines on the currency notes. Earlier, only those responsible for creating and sending the counterfeit currencies in the market faced penalty.
By issuing a directive on Wednesday, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank, asked the banks and financial institutions to ensure implementation of the law through their staffers. In a separate notice, the central bank also reminded the legal provision to the general public as well.
Laxmi Prapanna Niraula, chief of Currency Management Department at the NRB, told Xinhua on Thursday morning that the implementation of law would help prolong the life of currency notes which in turn would help the NRB make savings.
The NRB prints bank notes through security printing presses from different countries every year.
According to the NRB, current notes worth 458 billion Nepali Rupees (4.15 billion U.S. dollar) are currently in circulation in the market and 30 percent of which are believed to be dirty due to drawn lines or written words.
"Using those notes in the market however will not be illegal for now," said Niraula. In order to increases the stock of clean notes in the market, the Nepali central bank has not been sending dirty notes in the market once they arrive to the NRB from the market.