'Reduce foreign dependence for bank paper notes'

'Reduce foreign dependence for bank paper notes'

A parliamentary panel has urged the government to reduce its dependence on imported bank paper notes and inks and to indigenise the production of the same raising an alarm that those involved in circulation of fake Indian currency notes have access to the same paper, ink and watermark.

The panel has also hoped that the government will introduce new security features in Indian currency notes from time to time.

Keeping in view the rising incidence of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has also urged the government to tighten customs and police surveillance and gear up the enforcement machinery to bust networks especially those operating from neighbouring countries.

The Finance Ministry in its reply, accepted that at present bulk of bank note paper and security printing ink were sourced from foreign companies but said the government has decided to set up a paper mill through joint venture between Security Printing and Minting Cooperation of India and Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Ltd inMysore to augment the production of paper indigenously.

“The committee would like the government to diplomatically engage the neighbouring countries and involve them through international fora and discourse the issue at various levels,” the report recently tabled in Parliament said.

A report from central intelligence agencies has indicated that fake Indian currency notes smuggled into India mostly originate from Pakistan having distribution network from Thailand to the UAE, with Dubai, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Colombo and Bangkok emerging as major transit points.

Thailand has emerged as a safe haven for Pakistan-based fake currency note operatives. According to the action taken reply by the finance ministry, “Pakistani nationals based in Thailand are actively involved in circulation of fake currency notes which is smuggled into India through petty businessmen, tourists and couriers visiting Thailand.”

The committee also urged the Centre to increase cooperation with states and local level agencies and properly educate citizens about the  safety features of genuine Indian currency notes. It also recommended that steps should be taken for expeditious and compulsory installation of ultra violet lamps and note sorting machine in bank branches and markets.

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