CARACAS, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela introduced new banknotes on Monday that lop off five zeros from the inflation-hit currency.
A man displays new 5 and 2 sovereign bolivar banknotes for a photograph after withdrawing them from an automated teller machine (ATM) in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. The Venezuelan government is re-denominating the bolivar currency by lopping off five zeroes, this as it carried out one of the greatest currency devaluations in history over the weekend. (Photo: VCG)
The switch from the old bolivar to the new sovereign bolivar appeared to be going smoothly, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in an address.
"We can report that 92 percent of the banking platform, both private and public, is active. The sovereign bolivar is working, and there have been more than 400 million point-of-sale transactions throughout the country," Rodriguez said.
As of midday, only three banks were still adjusting their platforms, she said.
In addition to the redenomination of the currency, the government raised the minimum wage, which goes to 1,800 sovereign bolivars starting Sept. 1.
Government officials met with the social security agency to ensure employee payrolls at private companies are paid according to the new increase.
The government also began the process of granting a so-called "redenomination bonus" of 600 sovereign bolivars, as a form of direct subsidy and "social protection" that will benefit 10 million Venezuelans.
A new official price list for basic goods was to be published on Aug. 21, Rodriguez said, asking citizens to "defend the prices of this economic recovery program."
Venezuela's new currency is part of an economic recovery program.