The change in design of Indian currency notes of higher denominations was long due.
New Delhi: In its bid to check counterfeiting, the government is planning to change the security features of higher-value currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 every three to four years in accordance with global norms.
This comes in the wake of the recovery of a large amount of fake Indian currency notes in the past four months after demonetisation. The issue was discussed threadbare at a high-level meeting on Thursday attended by senior officials of the home and finance ministries, including Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.
Home ministry sources noted most developed nations now changed the security features of their currency notes every three to four years, and therefore it was necessary for India to follow suit. The change in design of Indian currency notes of higher denominations was long due. Till demonetisation, there had been no major change in the Rs 1,000 note since its introduction in 2000. Changes in the old `500 note, that was launched in 1987, was done over 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, sources said. A close look by investigators into the recently-seized fake notes found at least 11 of the 17 security features in the new Rs 2,000 notes had been replicated. These included the transparent area, the watermark, the 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 Devnagari in front, sources said. Besides, the motif of ‘Chandrayaan’, the ‘Swachchh 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 the genuine notes.
Sources said the change of security features of currency notes every three to four years would surb counterfeiting to a great extent. Those arrested recently with along fake Rs 2,000 notes told investigators the notes were printed in Pakistan with the help of Inter-Services Intelligence and were smuggled into the country through Bangladesh, sources said. A study by the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata in 2016 pegged the value of fake Indian notes in circulation at Rs 400 crores.