The making of taka

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Md. Zakir Hossain Chowdhury, Managing Director of The Security Printing Corporation (Bangladesh) Ltd, explains how the country’s only security printing company located in Gazipur, near the capital Dhaka, earns you money. Here, Md Abul Hasnat Shawon of The Business Standard Multimedia Team shares the secrets of the SPCL.

Md Abul Hasnat Shawon

March 04, 2022, 11:30 a.m.

Last modification: March 04, 2022, 11:26 a.m.

Mr. Zakir Hossain Chowdhury. Illustration: TBS

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Mr. Zakir Hossain Chowdhury. Illustration: TBS

When did you start printing money here?

Thank you. We started printing money in 1988 on an experimental basis. We started our trip with a One Taka banknote and a 10 Taka banknote. And in 1989, we started printing all the banknotes in circulation in phases.

How do you get the print command?

Normally, we receive an order from the currency management department of Bangladesh. They place orders with us, telling us in writing well in advance how much money they need for a year. Depending on their needs, our planning department assesses the quantities of paper, ink and security equipment required for the task. Then they place the request with our foreign purchasing department. The department then launched an international call for tenders. Usually we get the offers from our enlisted companies. After opening the bidding calendars, we evaluate the bids and discover the lowest bidder for our board of directors for review and approval. Only then do we move on to procurement. When the materials arrive, we have our own laboratory and a separate institution to check the quality of the supplies. They check whether each of the materials complies with the specifications and the established standard. When we are confident that all supplies have been made to specification, we then store them in our warehouse, which we call a vault. Our planning department then issues the factory order. They assess the materials needed for the print order and accordingly we supply the materials to the print shop. As the print job progresses, security elements are added at different stages. We have a pool of reviewers who manually inspect each sheet and grade. They sort out the less good ones that we destroy in our oven in the presence of the representatives of the departments concerned. Good grades are printed with numbers in an automatic machine. Then each ticket is cut separately and 100 tickets are packed in a bundle, and 10 of these bundles are packed in a bundle. Then, three of our departments carry out crucial tasks, including internal control and production control, to ensure that everything went well. At every stage of the production process, there are checks and balances; quality is checked and counting is done. Then the bundles are packed in a wooden box, which is bound with steel sheet and stored in our vault, called vault-3 as a finished product. Thus, the notes are ready for delivery as per the requirements of the Bangladesh Bank, which organizes a police escort to have them 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 take – from order taking to providing notes –?

It takes between six and nine months. But during the pandemic, the process even took a year in some cases. But Bangladesh Bank places order so we have enough time to deliver on time.

Please let us know what level of security you maintain throughout the production process

You know this is a key point of the A-1 grade installation-KPI. Safety here is therefore very important. We have a retired colonel in charge of security, we have our own security personnel and a team of police officers are stationed to provide overall security.

How good is the money printed here?

The quality of our currency is much better compared to that of many countries. It may not be as good as the US dollar or the British pound. Here are issues like cost issues and how people use paper money here. But we can definitely say that the quality of our Taka is better than the ratings of many Asian countries.

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