Addis Ababa:Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the introduction of new currency notes is part of the ongoing economic reform in the country.
The government unveiled today new currency notes with enhanced security features on the new notes with the view to making them hard to counterfeit.
Besides the notes that replace the old Birr 10, 50 and 100, a new 200 Birr note is issued by the government.
The 5 Birr note remains unchanged and will be turned into coin format soon, it was learned.
During the announcement of the introduction of the new notes, Prime Minister Abiy said a lot of work has been done in the past two years to address the macroeconomic imbalance in Ethiopia.
“Right now the economy is recovering from a recession,” he stated, adding that controlling inflation has become difficult and not at the desired level.
The large amounts of money circulating outside banks exacerbated the problem, the premier noted, further explaining that the new currency notes would play paramount role in resolving the problem.
He pointed out that the new currency notes are designed to be convenient to use and to serve for long time.
Over 3.7 billion birr has been spent on printing the notes alone.
Abiy stated that the recent directive issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to ban persons and companies from keeping over 1.5 million Birr in cash out of banks will be implemented along with the introduction of the new notes.
All illegal monetary activities that violate the law will result in the arrest of culprits and confiscation of the money seized, he stressed.
Similarly, strong measures would be taken against banks and other entities that operate illegally while changing the old notes with the new.
National Bank Governor Yinager Dessie disclosed on his part that huge amount of Ethiopian Birr has been accumulated abroad, including in neighboring countries.
Strong control measures have been put in place to prevent the money from entering the country, he stated.
The old notes should be changed into new notes within three months, the Governor said, adding that persons with 100,000 birr and more must however change them within a month.
Source: Ethiopia News agency