Saturday, August 25, 2012
RBI to conduct field trials of Rs 10 polymer notes in 5 cities
Your daily argument with the shopkeeper to give you a clean currency note and frequenting your neighbourhood bank to replace soiled notes may soon be a thing of the past.
The government is planning to introduce plastic currency with enhanced security features and has asked the Reserve Bank of India to conduct field trial on Rs 10 denomination in five cities having different climatic conditions, before making it a reality.
The RBI proposes to launch the plastic currency on a pilot basis in Jaipur, Shimla, Bhubaneswar, Mysore and Kochi.
“It has been decided by the government and the RBI to introduce Rs 10 notes in polymer/plastic on a field trial basis,” Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The proposal will check instances of counterfeiting and tampering of currency notes and also save the government a whopping sum on printing paper currency.
The plastic notes, with a longer life span compared to the roughly one year of paper notes, will also be recyclable, a public sector bank official said, much to the cheer of environmentalists, who shudder at the thought of plastic deteriorating the environment.
“The polymer that is generally used in plastic bank notes in foreign countries is a biaxially-oriented polypropylene. This polymer is recyclable,” the official told Deccan Herald.
Another feature that comes with the plastic notes is their hard texture, which will prevent them from being forged easily. And since they are water proof, they have enhanced durability, preventing rampant wear and tear.
Polymer notes were first introduced in Australia. New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Bermuda, Brunei and Vietnam also have plastic currency in circulation.
The official said that the government is also likely to introduce more security features in the currency notes to help government agencies in terms of their security and traceability.
The government has been trying for long to make plastic notes a reality in India and plastic bank notes had been on RBI’s agenda since 2009.
The government had earlier decided that plastic bank notes worth Rs 100 crore will be introduced in the country on a pilot basis. To start with, all the plastic bank notes will be circulated in the denomination of Rs 10.