Pakistani rupee

Pakistani rupee
پاکستانی روپیہ (Urdu)

Rs.1000 banknote (obverse)
ISO 4217
Code PKR
Number 586
Exponent 2
1100 Paisa (not used)
Nickname Rupayya , Paisay
Freq. used 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 Rupees
Rarely used 5000 Rupees
Freq. used 1, 2, 5, 10 Rupees
Official user(s)  Pakistan
Unofficial user(s)  Afghanistan[1][2]
Central bank State Bank of Pakistan
Inflation 5.2% (October 2016)[3]
Source State Bank of Pakistan[4]

The Pakistani rupee (Urdu: روپیہ / ALA-LC: Rūpiyah; sign: Rs; code: PKR) is the currency of Pakistan. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank of the country. The most commonly used symbol for the rupee is Rs, used on receipts when purchasing goods and services.

In Pakistan, the rupee is also spelled as "rupees", "rupaya" or "rupaye". As standard in Pakistani English, large values of rupees are counted in terms of thousands, lakh (100 thousand) and crore (10 million), 1 Arab (1 billion), 1 Kharab (100 billion).


Rupee coin, made of silver, used in the state of Bahawalpur before 1947.
Rupee coin, made of gold, used in the state of Bahawalpur before 1947.
Indian rupees were stamped with Government of Pakistan to be used as legal tenders in the new state of Pakistan in 1947.
Main article: History of the rupee

The word rūpiya is derived from the Sanskrit word rūpya, which means "wrought silver, a coin of silver",[5] in origin an adjective meaning "shapely", with a more specific meaning of "stamped, impressed", whence "coin". It is` derived from the noun rūpa "shape, likeness, image". Rūpaya was used to denote the coin introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his reign from 1540 to 1545 CE.

The Pakistani rupee was put into circulation in Pakistan after the dissolution of the British Raj in 1947. Initially, Pakistan used British Indian coins and notes simply over-stamped with "Pakistan". New coins and banknotes were issued in 1948. Like the Indian rupee, it was originally divided into 16 annas, each of 4 pice or 12 pie. The currency was decimalised on 1 January 1961, with the rupee subdivided into 100 pice, renamed (in English) paise (singular paisa) later the same year. However, coins denominated in paise have not been issued since 1994.


First Pakistani Rupee coin, made of nickel, 1949.
Commemorative 20 rupees coin on the 150th year of Lawrence College Ghora Gali in 2011.

In 1948, coins were introduced in denominations of 1 pice, 12, 1 and 2 annas, 14, 12 and 1 rupee. 1 pie coins were added in 1951. In 1961, coins for 1, 5 and 10 pice were issued, followed later the same year by 1 paisa, 5 and 10 paise coins. In 1963, 10 and 25 paise coins were introduced, followed by 2 paise the next year. 1 rupee coins were reintroduced in 1979, followed by 2 rupees in 1998 and 5 rupees in 2002. 2 paise coins were last minted in 1976, with 1 paisa coins ceasing production in 1979. The 5, 10, 25 and 50 paise all ceased production in 1996. There are two variations of 2 rupee coins; most have clouds above the Badshahi Masjid but many don't. The one and two rupee coins were changed to aluminium in 2007.[6]

Paisa coins ceased to be legal tender in 2013, leaving Rs. 1 coin as the minimum legal tender.[7] On 15 October 2015, the Pakistani government introduced a revised 5 rupee coin with a reduced size and weight and having a golden color, being made from a composition of copper-nickel-zinc,[8] and also a Rs.10 coin was introduced in circulation.[9]

Currently Circulating Coins
Depiction (Front) Depiction (Back) Value Year in Use Composition Front Illustration Back Illustration
₨ 1 1998 – present Bronze (1998-2006)
Aluminium (2007-present)
Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Mausoleum, Sehwan Shareef
₨ 2 1998 – present Brass (1998-1999)
Nickel Brass (1999-2006)
Aluminium (2007-)
Crescent and Star Badshahi Masjid, Lahore
₨ 5 2002 – present Cupronickel (2002-2011)
Copper-Nickel-Zinc (2015-present)
Crescent and Star Number "5"
₨ 10 2016 - present Nickel Brass Crescent and Star Faisal Mosque, Islamabad
For table standards, see the coin specification table.


On 1 April 1948, provisional notes were issued by the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, for use exclusively within Pakistan, without the possibility of redemption in India. Printed by the India Security Press in Nasik, these notes consist of Indian note plates engraved (not overprinted) with the words GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN in English and "Hukumat-e-Pakistan" in Urdu added at the top and bottom, respectively, of the watermark area on the front only; the signatures on these notes remain those of Indian banking and finance officials.[10]

Regular government issues commenced in 1948 in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 rupees. The government continued to issue 1 rupee notes until the 1980s but other note issuing was taken over by the State Bank of Pakistan in 1953, when 2, 5, 10 and 100 rupees notes were issued. Only a few 2 rupees notes were issued. 50 rupees notes were added in 1957, with 2 rupees notes reintroduced in 1985. In 1986, 500 rupees notes were introduced, followed by 1000 rupees the next year. 2 and 5 rupees notes were replaced by coins in 1998 and 2002. 20 rupee notes were added in 2005, followed by 5000 rupees in 2006. Until 1971, Pakistani banknotes were bilingual, featuring Bengali translation of the Urdu text (where the currency was called taka instead of rupee), since Bengali was the state language of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).[11]

All banknotes other than the 1 and 2 rupees feature a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the obverse along with writing in Urdu. The reverses of the banknotes vary in design and have English text. The only Urdu text found on the reverse is the Urdu translation of the Prophetic Hadith, "Seeking honest livelihood is worship of God." which is حصول رزق حلال عبادت ہے (Hasool-e-Rizq-e-Halal Ibaadat hai).

The banknotes vary in size and colour, with larger denominations being longer than smaller ones. All contain multiple colours. However, each denomination does have one colour which predominates. All banknotes feature a watermark for security purposes. On the larger denomination notes, the watermark is a picture of Jinnah, while on smaller notes, it is a crescent and star. Different types of security threads are also present in each banknote.

Banknotes before the 2005 Series[12]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description – Reverse Status
Obverse Reverse
₨ 1 95 × 66 mm Brown Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal in Lahore No longer in Circulation
₨ 2 109 × 66 mm Purple Badshahi Masjid in Lahore
₨ 5 127 × 73 mm Burgundy Khojak Tunnel in Balochistan
₨ 10 141 × 73 mm Green Mohenjo-daro in Larkana District No longer printed – Still in Circulation
₨ 50 154 × 73 mm Purple and Red Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort in Lahore
₨ 100 165 × 73 mm Red and Orange Islamia College in Peshawar
₨ 500 175 × 73 mm Green, tan, red, and orange The State Bank of Pakistan in Islamabad No longer in Circulation
₨ 1000 175 × 73 mm Blue Tomb of Jahangir in Lahore No longer printed – Still in Circulation
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

The State Bank has started a new series of banknotes, phasing out the older designs for new, more secure ones.

2005 Series[13]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Period
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
₨ 5 115 × 65 mm Greenish Grey Muhammad Ali Jinnah Gwadar port, which is a mega project in Balochistan (Pakistan) 8 July 2008 – 31 December 2012
₨ 10 115 × 65 mm Green Bab ul Khyber which is the entrance to the Khyber Pass, Khyber Agency, FATA 27 May 2006 – present
₨ 20 123 × 65 mm Brown/Orange Green Mohenjo-daro in Larkana District 22 March 2008 – present
₨ 50 131 × 65 mm Purple K2, second highest mountain of the world in northern areas of Pakistan 8 July 2008 – present
₨ 100 139 × 65 mm Red Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat 11 November 2006 – present
₨ 500 147 × 65 mm Rich Deep Green Badshahi Masjid in Lahore
₨ 1000 155 × 65 mm Dark blue Islamia College in Peshawar 26 February 2007 – present
₨ 5000 163 × 65 mm Mustard Faisal Masjid in Islamabad 27 May 2006 – present
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

(*Recently the State Bank revised the ₨ 20 banknote, after complaints of its similarity to the ₨ 5000, which caused a lot of confusion and financial losses, when people gave out ₨ 5000 notes, thinking them to be ₨ 20 notes)

Hajj banknotes

Due to the large number of pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the 1950s, the State Bank of Pakistan provided simple exchange facilities for Hajj pilgrims. The issue of special notes for the express use of the pilgrims was introduced. Although other means of exchange were considered, the high level of illiteracy amongst the Pakistani pilgrims and the additional costs that would be incurred through the need to purchase such means prevented the government from these methods of exchange. The State Bank Order to allow the issue of these "Hajj notes" was made in May 1950.

The use of Hajj notes continued until 1978. Until this date, stocks of notes were used without the necessity of printing new notes with the signatures of the later Governors. It is believed that, once the use of Hajj Notes was discontinued, most of the remaining stock of notes was destroyed. However, a large quantity of notes did find their way into the collector market following their sale to a bank note dealer by the State Bank of Pakistan.

Hajj banknotes of Pakistan
Image Value Main Colour Description – Reverse Date of usage
Obverse Reverse
₨ 10 Dark purple Shalamar Gardens in Lahore 1960–1969
₨ 10 Dark blue Mohenjo-daro in Larkana 1970–1976
₨ 100 Dark orange Islamia College (Peshawar) 1970–1976
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Special banknote

Special banknote on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Pakistan
Image Value Main Colour Description – Reverse Date of usage
Obverse Reverse
₨ 5 Dark purple Baha-ud-din Zakariya Tomb Multan 1997-onwards
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Exchange rate

US Dollar-Pakistani rupee exchange rate

The rupee was pegged to the British pound until 1982, when the government of General Zia-ul-Haq changed it to managed float. As a result, the rupee devalued by 38.5% between 1982–83 and 1987–88 and the cost of importing raw materials increased rapidly, causing pressure on Pakistani finances and damaging much of the industrial base. The Pakistani rupee depreciated against the United States dollar until the turn of the century, when Pakistan's large current-account surplus pushed the value of the rupee up versus the dollar. The State Bank of Pakistan then stabilized the exchange rate by lowering interest rates and buying dollars, in order to preserve the country's export competitiveness.

2008 was termed a disastrous year for the rupee after the elections and until August 2008 it had lost 23% of its value since December 2007 to a record low of 79.2 against the US dollar.[14] The major reasons for this depreciation, a huge current and trade accounts deficits, had been built up since the credit boom in Pakistan post 2002. Due to rising militancy in the NWFP and FATA areas FDI began to fall and the structural problems of the balance of payment where exposed; a disastrous situation occurred where foreign reserves fell to as low as $2 billion. However, by February 2011 Forex reserves had recovered and set a new record of $17 billion. Of that $17 billion, more than $10 billion was borrowed money with interest applicable. In February 2016 Pakistani rupee was Rs 104.66 against US dollar.

Current PKR exchange rates

See also


  1. Hanifi, Shah. Connecting Histories in Afghanistan: Market Relations and State Formation on a Colonial Frontier. Stanford University Press. p. 171. ISBN 9780804777773.
  2. Munoz, Arturo. U.S. Military Information Operations in Afghanistan: Effectiveness of Psychological Operations 2001-2010. Rand Corporation. p. 72. ISBN 9780833051561.
  3. Empty citation (help)
  5. (20 September 2008). "Etymology of rupee". Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  6. Accessed 8 January 2008
  7. Paisa becomes extinct
  8. Pakistan 10 rupees 2016 - New type World Coin News ( 14 October 2016. Retrieved on 2016-11-01.
  9. Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Pakistan". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
  10. Roshaan, Hamid. "A collection of Pakistani Currency Notes". Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  11. "Banknotes and Coins Under Circulation" (PDF). State Bank of Pakistan. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  12. "Pakistan's Banknotes". State Bank of Pakistan. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  13. "Pakistan rupee falls to new low". BBC News. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
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