The government is proposing to authorise more local banks to issue currency, including banknotes, coins, commemorative coins and digital currency.
Following a closed-door meeting of the Legislative Assembly’s 2nd Standing Committee, chairman Andrew Chan Chak Mo said that the bill proposes Macao’s legal tender, the pataca, shall consist of banknotes, coins and digital forms of currency.
No government officials attended yesterday’s meeting, the first time the committee carried out the article-by-article review of the bill.
Chan noted that the pataca coins are currently minted on behalf of the Monetary Authority of Macao.
Pataca banknotes are co-issued by BNU and the local branch of Bank of China.
The bill proposes that the banks that are authorised to issue currency must have the same bank reserves as the cash they issue, and that the authorised issuing entities must deposit the equivalent value of convertible foreign currency with the government as bank reserves before they issue the currency.
According to Chan, the bill states that businesses are not obliged to accept currency in circulation that has not been replaced after it expired, while the issuing entities have the obligation to accept and replace it.
However, Chan quoted the government as saying that no matter how long the currency has expired, it will still be recognised as genuine currency and can be exchanged for a new version at the note-issuing banks, The Macau Post Daily reported.