JERUSALEM (Aug. 25)
The Cabinet accepted a proposal today to introduce a technical change in the value of the Shekel, by removing the last three zeros from the face value of the currency. The exchange rate this weekend was 1,480 Shekels to the U.S. dollar.
New notes and coins will go into circulation this Wednesday. In an interim period until January I, both the old and new Shekels will be valid in the market.
Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai said at a press conference today that the purpose of the change was purely technical. He said that as a result of inflation, calculations have become too complicated. The new Shekel would allow for simplifying calculations in the purchase of goods, homes, cars and other commodities which now have price tags with six or seven digits.
Five years ago the Shekel was introduced in a similar way, by removing a zero of the original Israel pound. The law authorizing the issue of the new Shekel will go before the Knesset for approval on Tuesday.