Out of 300 million defective banknotes that were printed in one of the printing presses of government-owned Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India, about 100 million of those notes have hit the market leaving the general public in a tizzy.
About 200 million pieces were transferred to the RBI’s currency chests, some of which was then loaded in banks’ automated teller machines, sources close to the development said.
Currency experts said that the checking of notes is done at the press-level and the banking regulator is not involved with checking each and every banknote.
An RBI spokesperson has confirmed the development and said banks have been asked to replace such notes with the central bank, when found. Banks have also been advised to replace such notes whenever a customer approaches them. The notes are genuine though they are defective, the spokesperson said.
There are four printing presses which print and supply banknotes. These are at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, Nasik in Maharashtra, Mysore in Karnataka, and Salboni in West Bengal.
The presses in Devas and Nasik are owned by the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL), a wholly owned company of the Government of India. The printing of the notes in Karnataka and West Bengal are done by the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of RBI.
Sources said the defected notes were printed in the Nashik press while Security Paper Mill of Hoshangabad produced the currency note paper. The security thread was missing in the defective pieces, the sources said. The 1000-rupee notes which was introduced in October 2000, contain a readable, windowed security thread alternately visible on the obverse with the inscriptions ‘Bharat’ (in Hindi), ‘1000’ and ‘RBI’, but totally embedded on the reverse.
As on March 31, 2015, there were 5,612 million Rs 1000 denominated notes in circulation which constitutes 6.7 per cent of the total notes in circulation. In terms of value, Rs 1000 denominated notes constituted 39.3 per cent of the total value of notes in circulation.
Notes of denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 together accounted for approximately 85 per cent of the total value of banknotes in circulation at end- March 2015. Notes of Rs 10 and Rs 100 together accounted for 54 per cent of the volume at end- March 2015, RBI data shows.