“I should withdraw all the five-taka coins,” he told Parliament on Sunday.
His remarks came before Parliament passed the ‘Bangladesh Coinage (Amendment) Bill-2015’ empowering the government to issue note and coin of Tk 5 denomination, like those of Tk 1 and 2.
After the minister tabled the Bill for passage on Sunday, Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam proposed to send it to the committee for verification of public opinion.
“There are several issues related to Tk 5 coin. How much the government will lose should be considered, too. Bangladesh Bank issues a Tk 5 coin. What will happen to them?” Imam asked.
In response, Muhith said, “I saw a Tk 5 coin today. This is illegal.”
“Bangladesh Bank is not authorised to issue this coin. They can’t do this. They are only authorised to release Tk 1 coin.”
The finance minister had faced harsh criticisms in January for saying he wanted to withdraw Tk 1 and Tk 2 notes from the market.
But a day later, he retracted the statement and said, “We can’t just withdraw currency notes that are in the market by force. They will cease to exist if people stop using them.”
Banknotes of denominations between Tk 1 and Tk 1,000 are currently in use in Bangladesh. The finance ministry issues Tk 1 and Tk 2 notes and coins, while the central bank releases the rest.
There are coins for Tk 1, and for Tk 2 and Tk 5 there are notes as well as coins. Tk 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 are only found in notes.
Muhith on Sunday told Parliament that if the government starts issuing Tk 5 denomination, the total supply of money in Bangladesh would remain unchanged and there would be no impact on inflation.
He said the legal tender banknotes and coins were 10.70 percent of the total money in circulation in 1974-75 fiscal, but it came down to 0.90 percent in the 2013-14 fiscal.
It would rise to 1.50 percent once the Tk 5 notes and coins were issued by the government, he added.