New currency notes available on streets ahead of bank distribution

While the bank has yet to release new notes, footpath vendors are still using them

Sheikh Abu
Published : 28 March 2024, 07:59 PM
Updated : 28 March 2024, 07:59 PM

Bangladesh Bank has announced the release of new currency notes from 80 bank branches, both public and private, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

However, reports have emerged of seasonal traders already selling new notes on footpaths at elevated prices though the official distribution is slated to begin on Mar 31.

Naimul Islam, a private company employee, was purchasing two bundles of new Tk 10 notes (100 notes each) from a footpath near Bangladesh Bank and the Sena Kalyan Bhaban in Motijheel, paying an extra Tk 300 for the transaction.

The new notes will be available at the bank after a few days. When asked why he was buying them from the footpath, Naimul explained to, "I want to go home early this time. It's difficult to get new money during Eid, so I prefer to buy it early, even if it costs extra. I'll buy more later if needed."

How footpath vendors get these notes before the official distribution remains a mystery.

Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Mezbaul Haque told, "Bangladesh Bank only exchanges money upon request. We don't monitor how individuals use the currency."

He refrained from commenting on how some traders consistently acquire new notes every year.

With the bank yet to release new notes, footpath vendors have seized the opportunity to hike prices.

Last year, traders charged an additional Tk 250 to Tk 300 per bundle as the bank issued fewer new notes than demanded.

Hasanuzzaman Shanto trades new currency on Gulistan's footpaths all year round.

"Since last Eid, I haven't sold bundles of Tk 10 notes for less than Tk 100," he said, adding that he purchases them for Tk 80.

In addition to the people who he has agreements with, many people come to Gulistan to exchange new currency notes, the seller said.

An additional Tk 150 is charged per bundle of new Tk 5, Tk 10, and Tk 20 notes on footpaths, with Tk 200 for a bundle of Tk 20 notes.

Charging extra fees for new notes is illegal in Bangladesh, but vendors continue to do so without facing consequences.

In addition to spots outside Bangladesh Bank, vendors in Gulistan, Sadarghat, Mirpur, Farmgate, and Raisaheb Bazar areas of the capital also offer new notes.


Last year, new notes were disseminated through 40 branches of the central bank and commercial banks. This year, the number has doubled.

Starting Mar 31, designated bank branches in Dhaka, Munshiganj, Savar, Gazipur, Chattogram, and Narayanganj will provide new notes.

Customers can collect new notes of denominations Tk 5, Tk 10, Tk 20, Tk 50, and Tk 100 from these branches until Apr 9, excluding the weekend.