The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has recently said that around 22 tonnes of their rupee coins are currently in India, having been left in religious places such as temples, churches and kovils.
Sri Lankans on religious pilgrimage leave the coins as offerings, as well as items such as food, flowers or incense. However, the number of coins leaving the country is now so high – as is the cost of manufacturing replacement coins – that the Central Bank is currently making arrangements to bring the coins back to Sri Lanka. The general public are being encouraged to use any stocks of coins they have hoarded, in order to put the coins back into circulation.
“At present, the public is holding over two billion coins with them and most of them remain idle and do not circulate. This has resulted in a situation which the bank says has created a shortage of coins in the country,” Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Central Bank Governor
The Central bank issues 10 denominations of coin: Rs.10, Rs. 5, Rs. 2, Rs. 1, Cts. 50, Cts. 25, Cts.10, Cts. 5, Cts, 2, Cts, 1. However, it is unusual to see coin denominations lower than Cts. 50 used in daily transactions. Though illegal, the practice of melting coins to make jewellery is common.
Source: Sri Lankan News Ceylon Today