Eight fake notes per million float in India

“The menace of circulation of counterfeit currency in the country has been assuming alarming proportions in the recent years,” the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) said in its report tabled in Parliament.

While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not made an assessment of counterfeit currency presently in circulation in the country, the guesstimate reported in media put such currency at an astronomical figure of Rs 169,000 crore floating in the Indian financial system, including official banking channels, the committee said while reviewing the performance of the state-owned Security Printing and Mining Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL).

The chairman and managing director of the SPMCIL, while deposing before COPU, submitted an estimate that put the figure of counterfeit notes at eight pieces per million.

The finance secretary told the committee that the value of fake currency seized and recovered has increased from Rs 8.39 crore in 2006 to Rs 25.79 crore in 2008. It was explained to the committee that counterfeiting is a law and order issue and the RBI’s role is to improve the security features of the currency notes by setting up a system to detect all such notes making entry into the banking channels.

The RBI also has a role in raising awareness amongst all users, particularly members of the public. However, COPU feels that the RBI is yet to reach the common public, particularly those in the rural areas where poor and innocent people continue to be the victims of counterfeit currency as they are targeted easily by anti-national elements.

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