Iraq Said To Be Planning Currency Overhaul, Redenomination

BAGHDAD — A senior Iraqi Central Bank adviser says the government has adopted a two-pronged plan to restructure the national currency in order to facilitate large transactions and make government accounts more efficient, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Mudhhir Muhammad Salih, a member of the bank’s advisory panel, told RFI on June 23 that in the short term, larger banknote denominations of the dinar will be issued to simplify major transactions.

He said that because so many Iraqis still deal mainly in cash, it is cumbersome to carry bags full of money to pay for expensive items like cars. The inconvenience leads people making such purchases — as well as many entrepreneurs — to use dollars for those kinds of transactions instead of dinars, something the government wants to end.

He added that large denominations equivalent to around $100 will be issued to simplify major purchases, and new coins and lower denominations will be introduced for smaller transactions.

In the longer term, Saleh said a redenomination is needed wherein three zeros will be dropped so that the 25,000 Iraqi-dinar banknote — currently the largest denomination — becomes a 25-dinar note.

He said the change is inevitable, considering the economy is expecting high growth in the coming years with a planned increase in oil production to finance reconstruction projects.

Saleh said there are currently some 29 trillion dinars in circulation in Iraq, represented by some 6 trillion banknotes of various denominations, most of them quite small. He said this also causes complications for the central bank and government, as well as commercial accounting departments.

Saleh said the monetary-restructuring plan was drawn up with the help of foreign experts and financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), of which Iraq has been a member since 1945.

The plan will soon be presented to the cabinet, which is expected to subsequently send a bill to parliament.

Saleh noted that until 1980 the Iraqi dinar exchange rate was 1 dinar/$3.3 compared to $1/1,168 dinars now due to hyperinflation that occurred during the latter part of the late ousted leader Saddam Hussein’s reign.

Source :- Radio Free Europe Radio Free Liberty

Iraq’s Central Bank to delete zeros from Iraqi currency.

Saturday, June 25, 2011 11:23 GMT

Iraq’s Central Bank announced on Thursday that it is planning to delete the zeros from the Iraqi currency.

This step is one of the bank’s strategic missions; the Central Bank said adding that the new currency will include the Kurdish language in addition to the Arabic language.

“The zeros that were added to the Iraqi currency previously constituted a large money supply up to 28.500 trillion Iraqi Dinar and 5 trillion banknotes”, the adviser of Iraqi Central Bank governor Mothahhar Mohammed Saleh told Alsumarianews.

“The Central Bank has prepared all requirements needed to delete the zeros from the Iraqi Currency”, Saleh said.

“This step is one of the Iraqi central bank’s strategic missions. The monetary policy of the bank aims to structure and reduce the currency in a country moving towards an economic phase”, he added.

“The project of deleting zeroes is complete. It will be submitted to the central bank’s administration in the next session. Then, it will be passed to the ministerial council before presenting it to the Parliament for vote. The mechanisms of changing the currency will be gradual. It will be preceded by awareness campaigns for citizens”, the adviser of Iraqi Central Bank governor said.

“The new currency will be printed after deleting the zeros and will include the Kurdish language in addition to the Arabic language. It will bear as well photos of Iraq’s civilizations and patrimony in addition to symbols of Iraqi intellectuals and figures”, Saleh noted.

On June 19, Iraq’s Central Bank Governor Sanan Al Shebeibi affirmed during the meeting of independent commissions with Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki that the bank is preparing all requirements needed to replace the Iraqi Currency.

Iraq’s Central Bank has four branches including Basra, Sulaimaniah, Arbil and Mosul. It was founded as an Iraqi independent bank by virtue of Iraq’s Central Bank Law issued on March 6, 2004.

The bank is responsible for the prices stability and the implementation of monetary policy including exchange rates, the management of foreign reserves, the issuance of currencies and the organization of the banking sector.

Source : Alsumari TV Network