When did you start printing money here?
Thank you. We started printing money in 1988 on an experimental basis. We started our journey with One Taka currency note and 10 Taka bank note. And in 1989, we started printing all notes in circulation in phases.
How do you get print order?
Normally, we get order from the currency management department of Bangladesh. They place orders to us, informing us in writing well ahead about the amount of money they need for a year. As per their requirements, our planning department assesses the amounts of paper, ink, security materials needed for the task. Then they place the requisition to our foreign purchase department. The department then float international e-tender. Usually, we get the bids from our enlisted firms. After opening the tender schedules, we evaluate the offers and find out the lowest bidder for our board for scrutiny and approval. Only then we go for procurement. When the materials arrive, we have our own laboratory and separate institution to verify quality of the supplies. They check if each of the materials is as per the specification and set standard. When we are sure that all the supplies have been made as per specifications, only then we store those in our warehouse, which we call strong room. Our planning department then issues factory order. They make an assessment of the materials needed for the printing order, and accordingly, we supply the materials to the printing hall. As printing work proceeds, the security features are added in different stages. We have a pool of examiners who manually inspect every sheet and note. They sort out the inferior ones which we destroy in our oven in presence of representatives from relevant departments. Good notes are imprinted with numbers in automatic machine. Then each note is cut separately and 100 notes are wrapped in a packet, and 10 such packets are wrapped into a bundle. Then three of our departments perform crucial jobs including internal control and production control to make sure that everything has gone alright. At every stage of the production process, there are checks and balances; quality is monitored and counting is done. Then the bundles are stuffed in wooden box, which is bound with steel sheet and stored in our vault, called strong room-3 as finished product. Thus notes are ready to be supplied as per requirement of the Bangladesh Bank, which arranges police escort to get those delivered to the central bank or any of its designated offices. This is how our production and delivery processes complete a cycle.
How long does such a cycle — from taking an order to supplying notes — take?
It takes between six to nine months. But during the pandemic, the process took even a year in some cases. But the Bangladesh Bank places order giving us enough time to make deliveries on time.
Please tell us the level of security you maintain throughout the production process
You know it is a key point installation-KPI of A-1 grade. So security here is very important. We have a retired colonel in charge of security, we have our own security staff and a team of police is stationed to ensure overall security.
How good is the quality of money printed here?
The quality of our money is much better compared with that of many countries. It may not be as good in quality as US dollar or British pound sterling is. Here are issues like cost concern and the way people use paper currency here. But we definitely can say the quality of our Taka is better than notes of many Asian countries.