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Pakistan govt is not banning PKR 5,000 banknote

Similar claims were debunked multiple times in the past

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Claim: PKR 5,000 banknotes are being discontinued across Pakistan.

Fact: Pakistan’s caretaker information minister has not confirmed a ban on the PKR 5000 banknote. However, when a lawmaker suggested that the PKR 5,000 banknotes should be discontinued, the minister indicated that such policy decisions should be made by the next Parliament.

On 21 November 2023, BOL News (archive) and 24 News HD (archive) claimed that the PKR 5,000 banknotes will be discontinued across Pakistan; this is visible in the thumbnails of the news bulletins on their respective YouTube channels.

The following text can be read in BOL Newsvideo thumbnail:

“5 ہزار اور ہزار کا نوٹ بند؟
حکومت نے تہلکہ خیز اعلان کردیا
[PKR 5,000 and PKR 1,000 banknotes banned?
Government makes alarming announcement]”

The text in 24 News HD’s video thumbnail is as follows:

“5 ہزار والا نوٹ بند ۔ قرارداد پاس ؟
5 ہزار کا نوٹ فوراً تبدیل کرالیں ۔۔ ورنہ پچھتائیں گے
[PKR 5,000 banknote closed. Resolution passed?
Get PKR 5,000 banknotes exchanged immediately. Otherwise you will regret it]”

The claim that the PKR 5,000 banknote is being banned or removed from circulation has surfaced multiple times in the past.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found a 20 November post (archive) by Caretaker Information and Broadcasting Minister Murtaza Solangi on X (formerly Twitter), who shared a video of his comment in the Senate of Pakistan.

“These PKR 5,000 notes were first issued on 27 May 2006. At present, there are 905 million PKR 5,000 banknotes in Pakistan; this is worth PKR 4,525 billion or PKR 4.5 trillion,” he said.

Solangi then posed the question, “Can this caretaker government — with limited time and limited authority — take such a policy decision? Or should we not wait for the next Parliament [to be sworn in]?

“This [matter] requires quite a lot of debate; we don’t want to see scenes like that of India and its demonetisation [play out in Pakistan],” he added.

Solangi, we found, was responding to a motion submitted by Senator Mohsin Aziz of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) “to move that this House may discuss that State Bank of Pakistan may take necessary steps to eliminate the note of Rs. 5000/ as this is cause of inflation and corruption in the country”, according to the Senate’s website.

The motion is listed in a document outlining the ‘Orders of the Day’ for the 333rd Session of the 20th Parliamentary Year 2022-2023 that took place on 20 November 2023; it is available here.

A report (archive) by the state news agency, the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) confirms Solangi’s actual statement, adding that the caretaker minister “clarified that the State Bank of Pakistan issued or discontinued currency notes as per the State Bank Act”.

“He also said that during the tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, the SBP had been granted more autonomy,” the report added.

The claim’s circulation perhaps intensified because of headlines such as “کیا 5 ہزار روپے والا نوٹ ختم ہو رہا ہے؟ [Is the 5000 rupee note being discontinued?]” (archive) and “5 ہزار کا نوٹ ختم ہونے والا ہے؟ عوام کے لیے اہم خبر [PKR 5,000 note being discontinued? Important news for public]” (archive) run by ARY News Urdu and BOL News.

Soch Fact Check has reached out to the SBP for further clarification. This article will be updated when — and if — we receive a response.

In the past, we have investigated and debunked the same claim here in September 2023 and here in November 2021.

Virality

At the time of writing, the BOL News and 24 News HD videos have been viewed more than 108,000 times and 253,000 times, respectively.

Soch Fact Check found that 24 News HD also shared its report (archive) on Facebook here.

BOL News published the false claim thrice, each with a different clickbait headline here, here, and here. These were shared on both of the outlet’s verified Facebook pages — ‘BOL’ and ‘BOL News’ — multiple times here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

On Facebook, the claim was also shared here, here, and here.

Conclusion: Pakistan’s caretaker information minister has not confirmed or announced a ban on the PKR 5000 banknote. In response to a lawmaker who suggested that the PKR 5,000 banknotes should be discontinued, the minister only mentioned that it was better suited for the next Parliament to decide on the issue.


Background image in cover photo: StateBankPakistan


To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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