RBI plans to issue varnished banknotes; all about central bank’s new proposal to increase life of rupee notes

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Updated: August 31, 2018 10:32:46 AM

RBI annual report for 2017-18: With an aim to increase durability and life of banknotes, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to conduct a field trial of varnished currency notes.

rbi on varnished notesRBI annual report for 2017-18: In 2015-16, RBI withdrew 1,636 crore pieces of soiled banknotes, the annual report for 2017-18 said. (Reuters)

RBI annual report for 2017-18: With an aim to increase durability and life of banknotes, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to conduct a field trial of varnished currency notes. Such an initiative would help in lowering the overall security printing costs, said RBI in its annual report for FY17-18 that was released on Wednesday. The countries such as Kenya and Zambia are already printing varnished banknotes.

“In consultation with the Government of India, the Reserve Bank has been exploring the feasibility of increasing the life of Indian banknotes. International experience suggests that varnishing of banknotes is expected to increase their life and durability, reduce the banknote replacement requirements and thereby lower the overall security printing expenditure. It is proposed to introduce varnished banknotes on a field trial basis,” the report said.

In 2015-16, RBI withdrew 1,636 crore pieces of soiled banknotes, the annual report for 2017-18 said. RBI withdrew 1,250 crore pieces in 2016-17, and 2,767 crore pieces in 2017-18, respectively. The central bank was earlier working on releasing plastic currency notes.

Meanwhile, the tasks of processing and verifying banned rupee notes have been completed nearly two years of demonetisation happened, RBI report said. The value of SBNs which have been returned to the banks in the last two years stands at 15.3 lakh and this amounts to 99.3 percent of total banned notes. The number of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes in circulation on November 9 was 15.4 lakh crore.

The banning of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 rupee notes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series was announced by the government in November 2016 by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

The share of freshly launched Rs 200 rupee notes stood at 2.1 percent in the total value of banknotes at the end of March 2018, RBI annual report for 2017-18 said.

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