The Narendra Modi government has categorically rejected rumours that it is considering to demonetise the new Rs 2,000 currency notes.
The Narendra Modi government has categorically rejected rumours that it is considering to demonetise the new Rs 2,000 currency notes. At the same time the Reserve Bank of India has given its nod to introduce Rs 200 notes, according to a MINT report. The central government had scrapped old currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8, 2016 and replaced them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. Since then numerous stories have emerged surrounding the currency. People from different strata of the society have spoken over the issue. With so many stories doing rounds on the social media, we take a look at what is exactly happening.
“We are seizing fake currency. As far as rumours in the market are concerned, we should not go by such rumours,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had said in the Rajya Sabha. He was responding to a question by Congress member Madhusudan Mistry during Question Hour seeking to know if the government will demonetise Rs 2,000 currency notes as there were “strong rumours” in the market.
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The Minister said fake currency has mostly been seized from Gujarat and West Bengal. “But it is not correct that fake currencies cannot be identified. It is not true,” he said. Counterfeit currency that came into the market after demonetisation were made of low quality paper which was easy to make out. But later fake currency notes with better quality paper started coming in, Rijiju said.
Stating that the government has adopted many new security features in the new currency notes, Rijiju said, “I can assure the House and the country that now no one can copy 100 per cent, as we have indigenous design and extra features.” The government is more alert and has taken many measures to curb fake currency such and there were provisions for stringent action against those involved in fake currency, including setting up a coordinated committee of all intelligence agencies, providing training and creating awareness among the people, he said.
As per the data placed before the Upper House, Border Security Force has seized 378 new Rs 2,000 currency notes from Assam and West Bengal post demonetisation. National Investigation Agency (NIA) has seized 22,677 new Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 4.53 crore from Gujarat and West Bengal.
Earlier there was report that to check counterfeiting, the government plans to change security features of higher denomination banknotes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 every 3-4 years in accordance with global standards. The move comes in the wake of recovery of a large amount of fake Indian currency notes in last four months after demonetisation.
The issue was discussed threadbare at a high-level meeting on Thursday attended by senior officials of the ministries of Finance and Home, including Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.
Advocating the move, Home Ministry officials said most of the developed countries change security features of their currency notes every 3-4 years and therefore, it is absolutely necessary for India to follow this policy.
The change in design of Indian currency notes of higher denominations was long due. Till its demonetisation, there had been no major change in the Rs 1,000 note since its introduction in 2000. Changes in the old Rs 500 note, which was launched in 1987, were carried out more than a decade ago.
The newly introduced notes had no additional security features and were similar to those in the old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, officials said.
A close look by the investigators on some of the recently seized fake notes found that at least 11 of the 17 security features in the new Rs 2,000 notes had been replicated.
These included the transparent area, watermark, Ashoka Pillar emblem, the letters ‘Rs 2000’ on the left, the guarantee clause with the Reserve Bank of India Governor’s signature and the denomination number in Devanagari on the front, officials said.
Besides, the motif of ‘Chandrayaan’, the ‘Swachh Bharat’ logo and the year of printing had been copied on the reverse side. Although the print and paper quality of the seized counterfeits was poor, they resembled genuine notes.
The officials said the change of security features of currency notes in every 3-4 years will lead to curbing of counterfeiting to a great extent.
Those who were arrested recently along with fake notes with face value of Rs 2,000 have told investigators that the notes were printed in Pakistan with the help of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and had been smuggled into the country through Bangladesh, the officials claimed.
A study conducted by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, in 2016 pegged the value of fake Indian currency notes in circulation at Rs 400 crore.
Earlier, a Lok Sabha member had suggested expiry dates should be printed on big currency notes as it would help prevent hoarding. Jayadev Galla of TDP had suggested that “big currency notes can have expiry date so that we can have demonetisation from time to time.”
(With agency inputs)