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PKR - Pakistani Rupee

Pakistani Rupee Converters

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The Pakistan rupee (currency code: PKR) is the official currency and legal tender of Pakistan. It can be divided into 100 smaller sub-units, called paisa (plural: paise). Before it was decimalized, the rupee was divided into 16 annas. The symbol used for the Pakistan rupee is Rs, which is usually seen on notes, bills and receipts. There are several colloquial names for the Rupee in Pakistan, such as rupees, rupaya or rupaye. Also, large denomination notes are referred to by the thousands, and named lakh (100,000-rupee note) and crore (10,000,000).

Re-branding of the Indian Rupee

When the Pakistan rupee was first introduced in 1948, there weren’t enough notes in circulation to supply the demand, which led to the use of the Indian rupee, which was re-branded, simply by stamping “Pakistan” over Indian banknotes until a sufficient number of actual Pakistan rupee bills was in circulation. The State Bank of Pakistan, which is the country’s central bank, has the sole right to issue the rupee.


The coins were first introduced in 1948, denominated in 1 pice, ½, 1 and 2 annas, ¼, ½ and 1 rupee. This was followed by the addition of 1-pie coins in 1951. Ten years later, coins featuring denominations of 1, and 5 pice were minted and put into circulation, as well as 1, 5, and 10 paisa coins some time later. Coins denominated in 10 and 25 paise were added in 1963, while the 2-paise coin was issued in 1964. As for the rupee-denominated coins, they were put into production in 1979, starting with 1-rupee coins. Coins valued at 2 and 5 rupees were issued in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Paisa-denominated coins were slowly pulled from circulation over the years, and in 2007, there were no longer legal tender in Pakistan. The smallest denomination currently in circulation is that of 1 rupee.


Following Pakistan’s independence, provisional banknotes were issued and out into circulation. Interestingly enough, the notes were not issued by the Government of Pakistan, or the central bank. Instead, on their behalf, the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India issued the notes. These were only used in Pakistan, and could not be exchanged in India for the Indian rupee. India Security Press, from Nasik, handled the printing of the notes. The original plates used for the printing of Indian rupees were engraved with the words “GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN” in English. Also, “Hukumat-e-Pakistan” was written in Urdu.

Standard notes were introduced in 1948, in 4 denominations: 1, 5, 10 and 100 rupees. Initially issued by the government, banknotes were printed by the State Bank since 1953, including the 2 (only a few of these were printed in this series), 5, 10 and 100-rupee notes. The only exception was the 1-rupee note, which was still printed by the government until the 1980s. 1957 saw the introduction of the 50-rupee banknotes. Also, in 1985, 2-rupee notes were printed again and put into circulation. 500 and 1000-rupee notes were printed in 1986 and 1987, respectfully. Smaller notes of 2 and 5 rupees were replaced by coins of the same denomination in 1998 and 2002. Since 2005, two new notes were issued: the 20 and the 5,000-rupee note. In the beginning, each note was bilingual, and features lettering not only in Urdu, but Bengali as well. The name for the rupee in Bengali was taka. This was done, because Bengali was the official language of East Pakistan, which had since become Bangladesh. Since 1971, Urdu and English are the only languages present on the notes.

With the exception of the 1 and 2-rupee notes, the obverse of each note features a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, as well as Urdu inscriptions. The reverse of every note differs slightly, but they all feature text in English, aside from the Urdu translation of the Prophetic Hadith: Hasool-e-Rizq-e-Halal Ibaadat hai, which means “Seeking honest livelihood is worship of God”.

As for the design of the notes, there are several key differences. They differ in both size and color, with larger denomination notes being longer than the smaller ones. Although each note has several colors on it, there is one dominant color. For security purposes, a watermark is featured on every single banknote. There are two types of watermarks: a picture of Jinnah, which is reserved for the larger denomination notes, and a crescent and star, on the smaller denomination notes. In addition to watermarks, several types of security threads are implemented on each note.

Hajj Notes

Before 1978, there was a special type of notes called the Hajj notes. Because of the many pilgrimages to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State Bank of Pakistan decided to set up exchange facilities where rupees could be exchanged for special notes that were intended to be used solely by the pilgrims. Due to high rate of illiteracy, this was adopted as the best way, although several other concepts were also considered by the government of Pakistan.