New Currency Launched in India Lacks Any Additional Security Features
Indian government announced currency demonetization on November 8 last year and one of the reasons cited for the move was counterfeit currency. Indian government, banking sector and security agencies were fighting a tough battle against counterfeit currency. Indian government has claimed in the past that most of counterfeit currency pushed into Indian market is printed in Pakistan. A new report published by India-based newspaper Indian Express informed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Border Security Force (BSF) have recently seized new currency notes pushed via Bangladesh border.
Counterfeiters have already started providing fresh currency to smugglers. As per Indian Express report, investigating officers have held a few smugglers with fake notes. The report suggests that fake currency is sold at nearly 30% of value of real currency.
The report also mentioned that the new INR 2,000 and INR 500 currency notes issued by Indian government lack any fresh security features. The last time Indian government added high security features to Indian currency notes, was in year 2005. Even in developed economies, fake currency issue is a serious problem and many countries are already testing new security features to deal with counterfeit currency.
The report published by newspaper also mentioned that the fake currency notes had 11 out of 17 security features. Counterfeiters are using new technology, high quality printing paper and high quality printing. Better quality of fake currency makes it difficult for consumers to tell the difference between fake and real currency.
The news report published by Indian Express cited officials of the Securities Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL). They added that the newly introduced notes had no additional security features and were similar to those in the old INR 1,000 and INR 500 currency notes.
Requesting anonymity, the SPMCIL official informed, “It is a mammoth exercise and needs several rounds of consultation before the new security features are added. There was no time to introduce additional security features in the remonetised Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes as the decision was taken only five months ago. The last time security features were upgraded was in 2005.”
Indian government has taken a bold decision by changing currency, a decision criticized by many economists all over the world. However, the government has maintained that the decision was taken for dealing with black money, counterfeit currency and to improve adoption of digital currency among people. As reports of new counterfeit currency have appeared in the recent days, the government might find it difficult to deal with questions regarding improving security features in new currency notes.
Inputs for this story have been provided by our Indian correspondent Karan Sharma.
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