Currency in Pakistan

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The Pakistani rupee (Urdu: روپیہ) (sign: ₨; code: PKR) is the official currency of Pakistan. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank of the country. The most commonly used symbol for the rupee is Rs, used on receipts when purchasing goods and services. In Pakistan, the rupee is referred to as the “rupees”, “rupaya” or “rupaye”. As standard in Pakistani English, large values of rupees are counted in terms of thousands, lakh (100 thousand, in digits 100,000) and crore (10 million, in digits 10,000,000).


The origin of the word “rupee” is found in the Sanskrit word rūp or rūpā, which means “silver” in many Indo-Aryan languages. Rūpaya was used to denote the coin introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his reign from 1540 to 1545 CE.

[frame_center] [singlepic id=818 w=156 h=175] Rupee coin, made of silver, used in the state of Bahawalpur (now part of Pakistan) before 1947. [/frame_center] [frame_center] [singlepic id=817 w=156 h=175 float=] Rupee coin, made of gold, used in the state of Bahawalpur (now part of Pakistan) before 1947[/frame_center] [frame_center][singlepic id=815 w=156 h=175 float=] Indian rupees were stamped with Government of Pakistan to be used as legal tenders in the new state of Pakistan in 1947.[/frame_center] [frame_center][singlepic id=816 w=156 h=175 float=] First currency notes issued by Government of Pakistan in 1948[/frame_center] [frame_center][singlepic id=819 w=156 h=175 float=] First Pakistani Rupee coin, made of nickle, 1948[/frame_center]

The Pakistani rupee was put into circulation in Pakistan after the partition of British India in 1947. Initially, Pakistan used Indian coins and notes simply over-stamped with “Pakistan”. New coins and banknotes were issued in 1948. Like the Indian rupee, it was originally divided into 16 annas, each of 4 pice or 12 pie. The currency was decimalised on 1 January 1961, with the rupee subdivided into 100 pice, renamed (in English) paise (singular paisa) later the same year. However, coins denominated in paise have not been issued since 1994.


In 1948, coins were introduced in denominations of 1 pice, ½, 1 and 2 annas, ¼, ½ and 1 rupee. 1 pie coins were added in 1951. In 1961, coins for 1, 5 and 10 pice were issued, followed later the same year by 1 paisa, 5 and 10 paise coins. In 1963, 10 and 25 paise coins were introduced, followed by 2 paise the next year. 1 rupee coins were reintroduced in 1979, followed by 2 rupees in 1998 and 5 rupees in 2002. 2 paise coins were last minted in 1976, with 1 paisa coins ceasing production in 1979. The 5, 10, 25 and 50 paise all ceased production in 1994. There are two variations of 2 rupee coins; most have clouds above the Badshahi Masjid but many don’t have. This is noted by very few people. The one and two rupee coins were changed to aluminium in 2007


Currently Circulating Coins
(Front) (Back) Value Year in Use Composition Front Illustration Back Illustration
[singlepic id=796 w=50 h=50 float=] [singlepic id=795 w=50 h=50 float=] Rs. 1 1998 – present Bronze and Aluminium Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Mausoleum, Sehwan Shareef
[singlepic id=797 w=50h=50 float=] [singlepic id=798 w=50h=50 float=] Rs. 2 1998 – present Brass and Aluminium Crescent and Star Badshahi Masjid, Lahore
Rs. 5 2002 – present Cupro-nickel Crescent and Star Number “5”


On 1 April 1948, provisional notes were issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, for use exclusively within Pakistan, without the possibility of redemption in India. Printed by the India Security Press in Nasik, these notes consist of Indian note plates engraved (not overprinted) with the words GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN in English and “Hukumat-e-Pakistan” in Urdu added at the top and bottom, respectively, of the watermark area on the front only; the signatures on these notes remain those of Indian banking and finance officials.

Regular government issues commenced in 1948 in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 rupees. The government continued to issue 1 rupee notes until the 1980s but other note issuing was taken over by the State Bank in 1953, when 2, 5, 10 and 100 rupees notes were issued. Only a few 2 rupees notes were issued. 50 rupees notes were added in 1957, with 2 rupees notes reintroduced in 1985. In 1986, 500 rupees notes were introduced, followed by 1000 rupees the next year. 2 and 5 rupees notes were replaced by coins in 1998 and 2002. 20 rupee notes were added in 2005, followed by 5000 rupees in 2006.

All banknotes other than the 1 and 2 rupees feature a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the obverse along with writing in Urdu. The reverses of the banknotes vary in design and have English text. The only Urdu text found on the reverse is the Urdu translation of the Prophetic Hadith, “Seeking honest livelihood is worship of God.” which is حصول رزق حلال عبادت (Hasool-e-Rizq-e-Halal Ibaadat hai).

The banknotes vary in size and colour, with larger denominations being longer than smaller ones. All contain multiple colours. However, each denomination does have one colour which predominates. All banknotes feature a watermark for security purposes. On the larger denomination notes, the watermark is a picture of Jinnah, while on smaller notes, it is a crescent and star. Different types of security threads are also present in each banknote.

(*Recently the State Bank revised the Rs.20/- banknote, after complaints of its similarity to the Rs.5000/-, which caused a lot of confusion and financial losses, when people gave out Rs.5000/- notes, thinking them to be Rs.20/- notes)


Banknotes before the 2005 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description – Reverse Status
Obverse Reverse
[singlepic id=787 w=100 h=63 float=] [singlepic id=788 w=100 h=63 float=] Rs. 1 95 × 66 mm Brown Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal in Lahore No longer in Circulation
[singlepic id=789 w=100 h=54 float=] [singlepic id=790 w=100 h=54 float=] Rs. 2 109 × 66 mm Purple Badshahi Masjid in Lahore
[singlepic id=781 w=100 h=56 float=] [singlepic id=782 w=100 h=56 float=] Rs. 5 127 × 73 mm Burgundy Khojak Tunnel in Balochistan
[singlepic id=779 w=100 h=51 float=] [singlepic id=780 w=100 h=51 float=] Rs. 10 141 × 73 mm Green Mohenjo-daro in Larkana District No longer printed – Still in Circulation
[singlepic id=793 w=100 h=46 float=] [singlepic id=794 w=100 h=46 float=] Rs. 50 154 × 73 mm Purple and Red Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort in Lahore
[singlepic id=785 w=100 h=43 float=] [singlepic id=786 w=100 h=43 float=] Rs. 100 165 × 73 mm Red and Orange Islamia College in Peshawar
[singlepic id=791 w=100 h=41 float=] [singlepic id=792 w=100 h=41 float=] Rs. 500 175 × 73 mm Green, tan, red, and orange The State Bank of Pakistan< in Islamabad
[singlepic id=783 w=100 h=41 float=] [singlepic id=784 w=100 h=41 float=] Rs. 1000 175 × 73 mm Blue Tomb of Jahangir in Lahore


The State Bank has started a new series of banknotes, phasing out the older designs for new, more secure ones.

2005 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Period
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
[singlepic id=811 w=100 h=57 float=] [singlepic id=812 w=100 h=57 float=] Rs. 5 115 x 65 mm Greenish Grey Muhammad Ali Jinnah Gwadar port, which is a mega project in Balochistan (Pakistan) 8 July 2008
[singlepic id=801 w=100 h=55 float=] [singlepic id=802 w=100 h=55 float=] Rs. 10 115 × 65 mm Green Bab ul Khyber which is the entrance to the Khyber Pass, Khyber Agency, FATA 27 May 2006
[singlepic id=803 w=100 h=52 float=] [singlepic id=804 w=100 h=52 float=] Rs. 20 123 × 65 mm Orange Green Mohenjo-daro in Larkana District 22 March 2008
[singlepic id=809 w=100 h=50 float=] [singlepic id=810 w=100 h=50 float=] Rs. 50 131 x 65 m.m. Purple K2, second highest mountain of the world in northern areas of Pakistan 8 July 2008
[singlepic id=799 w=100 h=46 float=] [singlepic id=800 w=100 h=46 float=] Rs. 100 139 × 65 mm Red Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat 11 November 2006
[singlepic id=807 w=100 h=44 float=] [singlepic id=808 w=100 h=44 float=] Rs. 500 147 × 65 mm Rich Deep Green Badshahi Masjid in Lahore
[singlepic id=813 w=100 h=42 float=] [singlepic id=814 w=100 h=42 float=] Rs. 1000 155 × 65 mm Dark blue Islamia College in Peshawar 26 February 2007
[singlepic id=805 w=100 h=40 float=] [singlepic id=806 w=100 h=40 float=] Rs. 5000 163 × 65 mm Mustard Faisal Masjid in Islamabad 27 May 2006