Afghanistan’s Central Bank burned 360 million AFs worth of worn-out bank notes on Monday – which has brought the total in the past 11 years to 41 billion AFs.
Afghans rely heavily on the bank notes, as consumers pay cash for almost everything they buy.
As such, the lifespan of bank notes is not very long, officials said.
Central Bank officials did not however register the serial numbers of the worn-out bank notes ahead of Monday’s move and said registering serial numbers was difficult and time consuming.
“It is difficult to inject bank notes based on its serial number into the market and then burn it according to the number,” said Qasim Rahimi, second deputy head of the Central Bank.
Meanwhile a number of banking experts blasted officials for this and said the serial numbers of worn-out bank notes should be registered before destruction otherwise they could easily be put back into circulation.
“Worn-out money should be burned according to its serial number and by a team made up of various departments in a transparent way to prevent corruption,” said Taj Mohammad Akbar, former head of Pashtany Bank, (a private bank).
The institution overseeing the process to destroy the bank notes said they first go to the Central Bank and after counting the bank notes, transfer them to the store and then burn the worn-out bank notes.
“Yesterday we checked and packed the money and today we are here to burn it,” said Muhammad Arif Musazai, head of payment department of finance ministry.
Afghanistan pays 3 AFs for every bank note printed.