The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) issued a statement on Thursday refuting claims of an alleged ban on the use, possession, and circulation of Rs5000 currency notes, which had gained traction on social media due to a fraudulent circular bearing the Finance Division’s letterhead.
The counterfeit notice, dated September 7, 2023, falsely declared that the government would prohibit the Rs5000 currency note by the end of the month as part of a “significant policy change.”
According to the spurious notice, “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.” It also urged citizens and financial institutions to exchange or deposit their Rs5000 currency notes at authorized banks by the specified deadline, as these notes would cease to be legal tender after that date.
Additionally, the fabricated notice claimed that the government would launch an awareness campaign to educate citizens about the impending change and provide guidance on the proper procedures for exchanging or depositing Rs5000 notes.
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 pic.twitter.com/bfrLn0b2Io
— Fact Checker MoIB (@FactCheckerMoIB) September 7, 2023
However, the MoIB’s fact-checking department promptly debunked the notification and the purported ban on Rs5000 currency notes, categorizing it as “fake news.”
The Fact Checker MoIB posted the bogus notification on its official X account (formerly known as Twitter) to clarify that no such policy alteration or ban on Rs5000 notes was in effect. The message emphasized the unethical and illegal nature of disseminating false information and called on everyone to reject irresponsible behavior.
This is fake. The Govt of Pakistan shall act against the people spreading this kind of fake news to create chaos.
یہ جھوٹا نوٹیفکیشن ہے۔
حکومتِ پاکستان ایسے جھوٹے نوٹیفیکیشن پھیلانے والوں کیخلاف سخت کارروائی کرے گی۔
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) September 7, 2023
Furthermore, Federal Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, dismissed the reports, asserting that the government would take action against those spreading such baseless information. He posted on X, “This is fake. The Government of Pakistan will take action against individuals spreading this kind of false news to incite chaos.”