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Fiji Time: 4:11 AM on Friday 25 April

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Roll out on track

Geraldine Panapasa
Friday, March 01, 2013

THE Reserve Bank of Fiji remains focused on ensuring the smooth circulation of new notes and coins as the month of March approaches for the withdrawal of the old green $2 to make way for the new green $5 polymer banknote.

Though the deadline for the withdrawal of the $2 note had been set to March 31, RBF governor Barry Whiteside said arrangements had been made with the banks to accept and change the $2 note from the end of March to the end of April.

"The banks can accept $2 notes to change it. You should not transact it ($2 note) outside. So if you have it in your pockets or in your house somewhere, you can go to the bank and have it changed to the $2 coin," he said.

"After April, you can come to RBF and we will honour those notes. The coins don't usually get old.

"They stay exactly that way because they last much longer. When the old notes come in and are deemed unfit to put back into circulation, which is the normal case, then we destroy them.

"We have a machine that macerates the old notes; it's then chopped up into little pieces.

"We've gone past the burning stage though we used to burn the old notes. We've got more technology than that now."

Mr Whiteside said the transition phase was progressing well with the new $5 note to be released once the $2 notes had ceased circulation.

He said the old coins would not be removed from circulation because it had the same physical aspect as the new coins.

"It'll be a waste of money to withdraw the old coins.

"If you're interested in maintaining the queen then the queen is still on those coins," he said.

The new coins in circulation were expected to last 15-20 years under normal wear and tear conditions, Mr Whiteside said.