A Tour of CBI's Security Printing

April 28, 1998 - 0:0
TEHRAN - A good number of local reporters and journalists yesterday toured the heavly-guarded premises of Central Bank of Iran's (CBI) Security Printing and Minting Organization. The hard-to-get-in indoor premises, located in a beautiful garden of CBI's Building No.201 at Pasdaran street, were closely controlled by a sizeable number of guards and closed circuit surveillance cameras at each gate. Since the number of the visiting pressmen was fairly large, the group was divided into two; the first group visiting minting of banknotes while the other coins.

Ali Samiee, Manager of Banknote Minting Department of CBI, briefed the visitors on the background of security printing in Iran and said that the CBI started to mint banknote in 1982 tentatively adding that starting from 1957 CBI was replaced for Bank Melli of Iran that was in charge of country's security printing. Before then Iranian banknotes used to be minted abroad.

He said banknote papers as well as ink are yet imported to the country but added that plans are underway to produce banknote papers locally within a 2-year time. Samiee told the visitors that it takes nearly 40 days for banknotes to pass three different phases of quality printing by advanced printing machines. Banknotes have to take sometimes a ten-day rest to be well dried.

Unfortunately he said In Iran bank notes do not have a long life and are in circulation on the average for nearly three years while in many world countries they are in circulation for about 9 years. Enough propagation work is not carried out in the country to make people keep them more properly and hence extend this period", he further said.

Every year almost 400 to 600 million pieces of different kinds of banknotes are put out of circulation and wasted", he said adding that the cost of this waste is nearly Rls.40 billion. The cost for minting each piece of a banknote is estimated to be around Rls.75 with 50 percent of the cost in rial and the rest in currency for imported materials.

Also talking to the reporters yesterday was Majid Vali, Manager of Coin Minting Department of CBI. To keep the value of rial, CBI still mints one-rial coin although it is not traded and is almost out of circulation he said. CBI mints 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 250 rial coins which are produced by an alloy of copper, nickel and aluminium.Samiee said the metal material of the coins are presently imported but added plans are under way to produce it at home within three years.

He said Bahar-e-Azadi gold coins as well as other memorandum coins and medals are also minted at CBI upon order. The manager added the cost of each piece of coin is almost equivalent to its nominal value.