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Information Ministry Labels Reports of Rs5,000 Note Ban as ‘Fake News’


LAHORE MIRROR — The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) has officially denied the validity of reports suggesting a ban on the use, possession, and circulation of Rs5000 currency notes, following the circulation of a counterfeit circular bearing the Finance Division’s letterhead on social media.

The fraudulent notice, dated September 7, 2023, falsely claimed that the government would prohibit the use of the Rs5000 currency note by the end of the month, citing a “significant policy change.”

The fabricated notice stated, “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.”

— Fake notice.

The fictitious notice also advised citizens and financial institutions to exchange or deposit Rs5000 currency notes at authorized banks by the specified deadline, as they would no longer be considered legal tender.

The false notice additionally claimed that the government would initiate an awareness campaign to educate the public about the impending change and provide guidance on the proper procedures for exchanging or depositing Rs5000 notes.

However, a fact-checking department within the MoIB has conclusively debunked the notification and the purported forthcoming ban on Rs5000 currency notes, categorizing it as “fake news.”

The MoIB’s Fact Checker shared the fraudulent notification on their official X (formerly known as Twitter) account to clarify that no such policy change or ban on Rs5000 notes exists.

“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,” wrote the MoIB’s fact-checking body on X.

Furthermore, Federal Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, refuted the reports, emphasizing that the government would take action against those 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 stated on X.

It is essential to note that spreading fake news is considered an offense under the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Amendment Bill, 2023, and is punishable by a fine of Rs10 million.