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Qatar: Know it all

Started by Figleaf, February 22, 2008, 09:56:43 PM

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I always wondered why central bankers know better than small tradesmen whether or not tere is a lack of small change...


QCB rejects coin shortage claims
Staff Reporter
Published: Friday, 22 February, 2008, 01:37 AM Doha Time

QATAR Central Bank (QCB) has rejected claims of a coin shortage in Doha, saying that QCB's "stock of circulation coins are sufficient for the current demand."

Despite people complaining about a lack of coins available for change, QCB has insisted that there was no shortage, and that they were preparing for a new mint.

Residents of Doha have been complaining that consistent loss of small change from supermarkets, shops and taxis makes a big difference in the long-run.  It is common practice for cashiers to provide customers with sweets or chewing gum as a substitute for the dirhams they should receive.  But recently, people have been complaining that this is unacceptable, and must result in massive gains for supermarkets at the expense of its customers.

"If a supermarket has 10,000 visitors a week, and on average each visitor is losing out on 50 dirhams, this makes them a profit of QR5,000, for absolutely nothing" said one resident.  Suggestions have been made as to other ways of distributing change, such as a points or stamp system.

An official spokesperson for QCB said that the bank mints coins every two years, and with the last mint taking place in 2006, they are currently in the process of a new mint.

He explained that they distribute coins through local banks, who then choose how to dispense them to the public, and insisted that they provide the banks with coins when they are requested to do so.

The spokesman also added that QCB was unaware of any particular industry or group of society hoarding coins, and said that as far as they knew, coins were distributed fairly and equally throughout the country.

However, many people continue to be shortchanged, which is something that simply would not happen in other parts of the world.  As one British expatriate explained, "I have seen people arguing over the smallest amounts of change; not because of the value, but because of the principle.  Why should the shop keep money that covers more than the cost of what you are buying?"

Understandably, for the lower income workers in Qatar, the issue is starting to become more annoying, especially as inflation hits their earnings as well. But hopefully, the new mint this year should alleviate some of the problems, and provide more coins for circulation throughout the ever-increasing population.

Source: Gulf Times
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Perhaps Doha shopkeepers are preferring not to go to the bank to collect ample cash change? To them of course it is much more profitable to "shortchange" their customers with sweets or chewing gum.
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.


That would imply that the banks will not give change to individual customers, unless they are shopkeepers. Or maybe, as in the Netherlands, banks have the temerity to ask for extra money f you want small change.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.