The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) on Thursday said that there was no ban on the use, possession, and circulation of the banknotes of Rs5000, as being falsely reported on social media.
The ministry’s rebuttal of the reports of a purported ban of the currency notes came after a fake circular with the letterhead of the Finance Division went viral on social media.
The fake notice, dated September 7, 2023, stated that the said currency note will be banned by the end of this month under a “significant policy change” by the government.
“In pursuance of sub-section (2) of Section 323 of Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), the Federal Government is pleased to announce a significant policy change aimed at strengthening the financial system and curbing illicit financial activities. With effect from September 30, 2023, the use, possession, and circulation of Rs 5000 currency notes will be banned throughout the country,” the notice read.
The false notice also advised the citizens and financial institutes to exchange or deposit the Rs5000 currency notes at authorised banks by the said deadline as they will no longer be legal tender after that.
It further stated that the government will also launch an awareness campaign to educate citizens about the upcoming change and provide guidance on the proper procedures for exchanging or depositing Rs 5000 notes.
However, a fact-checking department operating under the MoIB disproved the notification and the alleged upcoming ban on the said currency notes, terming it “fake news”.
The Fact Checker MoIB shared the fake notification on their official account on X — formerly known as Twitter to clarify that there is no such policy change or ban on the Rs5000 note.
“Disseminating #FakeNews is not only unethical and illegal but it is also disservice to the nation. It is the responsibility of everyone to reject irresponsible behavior. Reject #FakeNews,” the MoIB’s fact checker body wrote on X.
Moreover, Federal Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, also dismissed the reports, saying that the government will take action against the elements spreading such “false information”.
“This is fake. The Govt of Pakistan shall act against the people spreading this kind of fake news to create chaos,” he wrote on X.
It may be noted that spreading fake news is an offense under the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Amendment Bill, 2023, which is punishable by a fine of Rs10 million.