Some news on the donpyo implementation

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

An interesting and illustrative reminder of how much economics is about the public’s trust (or lack thereof) in the system… Daily NK:

There was a recent incident at a market in Pyongyang’s Sosong District in which a money changer refused a request by an employee of the financial section of a particular enterprise to change donpyo for foreign currency. Ultimately, the money changer exchanged the vouchers at a rate of KPW 2,500 for each KPW 5,000 voucher, but he was arrested by police after they were called to the scene.

The incident suggests that North Korean authorities are paying enterprises that need state funds in donpyo rather than cash, and that those enterprises are putting money together by changing the vouchers into foreign or local currency through money changers.

The source said that the financial sections of enterprises are also trying to get rid of their donpyo as quickly as they can by immediately exchanging them or depositing them in banks. This suggests just how little faith locals have in the vouchers.

Meanwhile, the groups will reportedly focus their efforts on improving the public image of the donpyo, even as they crack down on rumors about the vouchers and businesses that refuse to change or accept them.

The source said the authorities do not believe locals will voluntarily use the donpyo if they start by “strongly making examples” of people. He said the party ordered that educational efforts to teach the principles behind the donpyo should be prioritized over forcing people to use the vouchers.

(Full article here: Seulkee Jang, “North Korea organizes inspection teams to ensure smooth distribution of money vouchers,” Daily NK, 22/11/2021.)

 

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