To check the menace of fake Indian currency, new notes, especially the Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 denominations, will have 7 new security features and a new numbering system, official sources in New Delhi said on Sunday.
The Reserve Bank of India subsidiary Bhartiya Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL) and the state-run Security Printing and Minting Corp are both working to introduce the revised number pattern in currency notes, the source said
The currency printers hope to introduce the features on high denomination notes by May next year, and then extend the same to currencies of all other denominations.
The RBI has also asked the banks to stamp notes detected as fake as “Counterfeit Note” and impound them, while banks found not following the procedure will be penalised, the source added.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been designated the nodal agency for fake currency cases.
The source pointed out that the fake notes inflow is no longer limited to smuggling across India’s land borders and Southeast Asian and Gulf countries are developing as important transit points.
Malaysia, Thailand and Oman have emerged as the new centres for stocking fake Indian currency for onward circulation across India.
As per latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Gujarat tops the list of five Indian states that are considered the “safest” for circulating counterfeit currency notes – allegedly pushed in by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
Of the 30,354,604 counterfeit notes seized across the country, 8,747,820 were recovered from Gujarat in 2014.
Chhattisgarh followed close on the heels with the seizure of 7,386,900 fake notes, while Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana saw recoveries of 5,437,600, 3,249,000 and 1,696,850 counterfeit notes.
Police officers monitoring the circulation of fake notes suspect that the ISI is pushing such notes in India which have a greater resemblance to India’s high denomination Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes.
The officers said that they have been noticing for the past few months that differences between genuine and counterfeit notes were reducing and that around five such differences have actually disappeared.
Apart from the road and railway routes, the air route via Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, as also China and Holland, are being used for smuggling in fake notes.
A bank official, who did not want to be named, told media that if one gets a fake note, he should immediately approach the nearby police station and register an FIR against the person who gave him the note.
“If a fake currency is withdrawn from any ATM, one should also file an FIR against that bank. The Reserve Bank of India penalizes such banks if they are found guilty,” said the official, who is a manager in State Bank of India.