Aug 12 – Sri Lanka has called for bids to mint nearly one billion coins including 10 rupee coins amid a severe shortage of 10 rupee notes and some availability of the 10 rupee coins, the EconomyNext said in a report said here on Friday.
Sri Lanka’s Central Bank called bids from mints for 190 million one rupee coins, 175 million 2 rupee coins, 230 million 5 rupee coins and 375 million 10 rupee coins.
“It’s a disaster,” M Ranasinghe, a business executive, quoted in the EconomyNext report said. “There are very few 5 or 10 rupee coins. But there are 20 rupee notes.”
According to the report, the existing bulky 10 rupee coins weighs about 8.6 grams and a dozen such coins weighs more than 100 grams.
In contrast the US dime (one tenth of a US dollar), which is worth more on current exchange rates weighs only 2.26 grams.
The Sri Lankan rupee collapsed from 131 to 145 during the past year as the Central Bank printed money to delay rate increases triggering a balance of payments crisis, on top of a currency collapse in 2011/2013 which sent the rupee careening from 112 to 131.
A US quarter, which is worth about four times the 10 rupee coins at currency exchange rates, weighs only 5.6 grams.
Sri Lanka’s five rupee coins is almost similar in size to a sterling pound coins.