Fake note circulation shows downward trend
The Union finance ministry on Monday informed the Lok Sabha that data provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and seizure of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) by national agencies and state police indicate a declining trend in the circulation of fake currency in the country.
Replying to a query by Lok Sabha MPs Khagen Murmu and Vinod Sonkar the ministry said: "It was reported by West Bengal Police that the flow of FICNs continues from Indo-Bangladesh border, particularly from the Malda area."
However, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her reply dismissed the inflow of FICNs as "low quality i.e. computer generated/manipulated".
Batting for the demonetisation the minister stated that "there have been no reported cases of seizure of high-quality fake Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 denomination till early 2019. As such, there does not appear to be any appreciable loss now."
Replying to queries on fake Indian currency in circulation in the House the minister said the government has taken various steps to check the smuggling and circulation of FICN.
She said an FICN Coordination Group (FCORD) has been formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to share intelligence among the state and central security agencies.
The government also informed that a terror funding and fake currency cell (TFFC) has been constituted in National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate terror funding and fake currency cases.
Providing more details about the government's effort to tackle the problem the minister said, "A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between India and Bangladesh to prevent and counter smuggling and circulation of fake currency notes. Security at the international border has been strengthened by using new surveillance technology, deploying additional manpower for round the clock surveillance, establishing observation posts along the international border erecting of border fencing and intensive patrolling."
According to an RBI annual report, as many as 5.22 lakh counterfeit notes were detected during financial 2017-18. This was 31.4 per cent lower than 2016-17 the year in which prime minister announced demonetisation. Out of these 3.34 lakh or 63.9 per cent notes were detected by banks and the remaining by RBI.
In 2017-18 detection of Rs 2,000 counterfeit notes had jumped 28 times to 17,929. The detection of same denomination was lesser in 2016-17 as the Rs 2,000 notes were circulated November, 2016 onwards.
The RBI annual report had stated that despite the decline in counterfeit currency in 2017-18 over the year before, Rs 2,000 counterfeit notes that were detected jumped 28 times to 17,929. Fewer number of fake Rs 2,000 notes were detected in 2016-17 because the currency was circulated November, 2016 onwards.
The report had said, "Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 35 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 100, while there was a noticeable increase of 154.3 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 50."