Fake notes to be at bay as Centre decides to change security features of banknotes every 3-4 years

Sandhya Dangwal
As pet the government’s plan, the changing of security features of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 every 3-4 years will be done in accordance with global standards.

New Delhi, April 2: In a bid to keep a check on fake bank notes, the government has taken a very bold step and has decided to change the security features of higher denomination banknotes. This move came in wake of recovery of a large amount of fake Indian currency notes in last four months post demonetization. The issue was taken up for discussion at a high-level meeting on Thursday which was attended by senior officials of the ministries of Finance and Home, including Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.

As pet the government’s plan, the changing of security features of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 every 3-4 years will be done in accordance with global standards. As per reports, investigators on some of the recently seized fake notes found that at least 11 of the 17 security features in the new Rs. 2,000 notes had been replicated. The features included the transparent area, watermark, 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 Devanagari on the front, PTI reported.

The overhauling of these banknotes every 2-3 years will help the government tackle the fake note menace. Backing the government’s decision, the Home Ministry officials said most of the developed countries change security features of their currency notes every 3-4 years and therefore, it is absolutely necessary for India to follow this policy.

As per officials, the newly introduced notes post demonetisation had no additional security features. It was reported that the new notes were similar to those in the old Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes. Besides, the motif of ‘Chandrayaan’, the ‘Swachh Bharat’ symbol and the year of printing had been copied on the reverse side, PTI reported. Reports also stated that although the print and paper quality of the seized counterfeits was poor, the notes looked original. Many people have been arrested until recently along with fake notes.

There were reports of people who were arrested with face value of Rs 2,000. They have told investigators that the notes were printed in Pakistan with the help of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and had been smuggled into the country through Bangladesh. Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal  in his statement in Rajya Sabha on March 28 said that the government has signed a memorandum of understanding between Indian and Bangladesh to prevent and counter smuggling of fake notes into the country.

Meanwhile, the government has taken various measures to combat terror funding and check smuggling and circulation of fake notes. The initiatives including setting up of a special Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) cell in the Home Ministry of coordinate with the central intelligence/ enforcement agencies and state law enforcement agencies for an integrated approach to tackle the problem. A  Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) has also been constituted in the NIA (National Investigation Agency) to investigate terror funding and fake currency cases.