Persian Gulf and Haj Issues

Persian Gulf and Haj issues were issued during the time of 1950 to 1960. These notes were introduced to stop malpractice of using Indian notes and restrict their usage to;
  1. Currencies outside India and not mixed with domestic issues
  2. Currencies used by Haj pilgrims
Persian Issues:
Before Independence, the Indian Rupee was widely used in quite a few countries in Gulf and East Africa. Most countries after gaining Independence from British, replaced the Indian Rupee with their own currency. The Gulf continued to use Indian Rupee even after India was Independent.

India then did not have any Foreign Exchange issues. All the Indian Rupee was pegged to Sterling reserve, India held. Hence Indian Rupee and consequently the paper money issues traditionally enjoyed wide currency in the Persian Gulf. On presentation by banks in these areas to the Reserve Bank, these notes were redeemable in Sterling currency equivalent.

Development demands and smuggling of gold from Gulf to India, started showing up as stress on the Rupee. To avoid possible situation of things going out of control, the Government amended the RBI act and introduced the Persian Issues. These currency notes were specifically colored and numbered [starting with Z]. Prior to this any Indian Currency Note was circulated in Gulf and could be exchanged at par. With the introduction of this act, only specific notes were deemed to be exchangeable and circulated outside of India. This stopped quite a bit of smuggling of Indian notes outside Indian and getting it exchanged indirectly for Sterling via Banks in Gulf.

After a decade or so, these notes were no longer in use as this was replaced by robust Foreign Exchange mechanism for exchange of notes.

Further Reads:

Haj Issues:
Similar to Gulf Issues, the Haj Issues were also meant for circulation in the Gulf are by Pilgrims during visit to Haj.

As indicated earlier, Indian Notes were widely used in Gulf and exchanged at Par by Banks in Gulf with Reserve Bank in India. When RBI amended the act to stop Indian Notes meant for circulation in India going outside, it noticed that quite a few Indian pilgrims who visited Haj would carry Indian notes. These would then be presented by Banks in Saudi Arabia for exchange to Sterling’s. Thus to stop this route of normal Indian currencies landing up outside India, A Special Haj note was introduced by RBI. These were similar to normal notes, except that words HAJ were printed on them and the prefix was HA.

After a decade or so, these notes were no longer in use as this was replaced by robust Foreign Exchange mechanism for exchange of notes.

Both the Persian Gulf and Haj notes are very expensive. Depending on the condition and denomination these go in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.

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