RBI playing around with currency notes


A recent notification from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says that new Rs 100 banknotes would soon be circulated. These banknotes would be similar to the design of the ones in Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 with the inset letter R in both the number panels, bearing the signature of Urjit Patel, governor, Reserve Bank of India. Granted that demonetization is a unique risk-taking venture launched by the Modi Government ostensibly to curb financing of terrorism through Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) and/or use of such funds for subversive activities such as espionage, smuggling of arms, drugs and other contrabands into India, and for eliminating black money which has created a parallel economy in our country and nearly eclipsed the real economy. However,reports that fake two thousand rupee currency notes have been seized at Malda in the West Bengal – Bangladesh border and that counterfeiters have managed to replicate half of the security features of the new Rs 2000 is alarming and puts paid to the Government’s attempts to address the problem of FICN.

In 2010, a parliamentary committee was shocked at the then Government’s decision to outsource printing of currency notes to US, UK and Germany to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore putting the “entire economic sovereignty (of the country) at stake,” during that particular period. The Public Undertakings Committee (PUC) in its report on security printing and minting, expressed concern as the decision to outsource currency printing posed a larger danger of destabilising the economy by agencies or authorities who could misuse India’s security parameters while printing the currency notes. In 201

Now currency notes are printed at Nashik, Maharashtra,  Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited’s bank note press at Mysore, Karnataka and at Salboni, West Bengal. The question is whether our currency is safer now that it is printed internally or are there still possibilities of forgery all over again. It is important to probe how the fake currency in Rs 2000 denomination happened in order for the public to repose their faith on their currency.