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Dubai: In the US, there is an ongoing debate over whether the government should stop minting the penny, the smallest coin in circulation. It is worth 1/100 of a dollar, or about 3.6 fils.

Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said he thought the penny should be eliminated but said it wouldn't be politically feasible. US Representative Jim Kolbe, a Republican from Arizona, has tried twice in the past 10 years to get Congress to abolish the penny. Both of Kolbe's attempts failed.


In 2008, it cost the US $.017 to make the copper-coated zinc disk, which means it lost $7 for every $1,000 worth of pennies made.

Time is also an issue. In 2008, the National Association of Convenience Stores and Walgreens, a US-based drugstore chain, have estimated that handling pennies adds 2 to 2.5 seconds per cash transaction.