Businesses said to refuse new Kuwaiti currency

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Mohammad al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, shows pictures of Kuwait's new banknotes during an official ceremony in Kuwait City. (AFP/Getty Images)

Mohammad al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, shows pictures of Kuwait's new banknotes during an official ceremony in Kuwait City. (AFP/Getty Images)

Some businesses have reportedly refused to accept new bank notes circulated in Kuwait from Sunday.

Customers have complained that some sales people were unaware that the new plastic notes had been introduced, blaming a lack of awareness and preparation.

Kuwait joined only a handful of countries in the world to use the more durable banknotes, which are made from polymer and last significantly longer than paper currency because they are resistant to heat, water, humidity and dust.

They also have greater security features.

But according to Kuwait Times, even staff in some government departments have refused to accept the notes from customers.

Muhanad told the newspaper he was unable to use the new currency to pay for fees at the Immigration Department.

“The man typing my papers refused to take the new half dinar I gave him, and I was forced to go and search for somebody to exchange with me the old currency to pay him. It was funny but it wasted my time,” he was quoted as saying.

A farmer also claimed he had been unable to buy fodder for his sheep using the new notes.

“The Asian salesman refused to accept the money,” the farmer, named Salah, was quoted as saying.

“I tried to explain to him that this is the new currency, but he refused. So I had to go roaming searching for mobile baqalas to get change from them. I finally found one and bought some stuff just to get change for KD 10 in old currency, and went back to pay for the fodder.

“I don’t blame him though as I know he lives a primitive life and his employer didn’t tell him about it.”

Authorities have said the existing notes would continue to be an accepted form of currency for some time.

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