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Govt all game for plastic notes

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, MAR 18, 2017: THE Govt. has given the thumbs up to conduct a field trial with plastic banknotes at five locations in the country. The RBI has been tasked with procuring plastic substrate and subsequebtly, printing banknotes of Rs. 10/- denomination on these plastic substrates.

Plastic banknotes are expected to last longer than the present banknotes, which are based on fibre substrates. Over the years, central banks across the world have been exploring different solutions for extending the lifecycle of banknotes. One such solution is the introduction of plastic banknotes and other developments in banknote substrates for enhancing durability, including use of natural fibre blends, varnish of banknotes etc.

The RBI has in the past, issued certain directives to focus on the need to discourage people from inscription, scrawling or scribbling on any part of the notes:

i. Vide its Directive dated November 07, 2001 under Section 35 ( A) of B. R. Act, 1935 advised all banks not to write anything on watermark window of banknotes.

ii. RBI had also issued a Press Release on December 31, 2013 on “RBI's clarification on scribbling on Banknotes”.

iii. RBI has advised all the bank branches to display at prominent places at their brances, a notice informing the public about availability of notes, facilitating exchange of old notes for new ones.

iv.  RBI from time to time issues instructions to banks to organize exchange melas to mop up soiled and mutilated banknotes from circulation.

v. RBI periodically issues Press Releases advising the public to not inscribe anything on banknotes, as doing so damages the notes and poses difficulty in identifying the features of genuine banknotes.

Further, an inter-disciplinary Standing Committee on Cyber Security has been constituted to review the threats inherent in the existing and emerging technology and suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security.

This was stated by Mr Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written response to a question in Lok Sabha yesterday.


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