Circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in the country continues to pose a challenge even after the 2016 demonetisation, whose one of the key objectives was to eradicate counterfeiting of notes.
According to report of the National Crime Control Bureau (NCRB), FICN with the face value of Rs 245.33 crore has been seized by the law enforcement agencies across the country since 2016 — the year the Centre demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
The highest amount of FICN with the face value of Rs 92.17 crore was seized in 2020 while the lowest with the face value of Rs 15.92 crore was seized in 2016.
In 2021, FICN of Rs 20.39 crore face value was seized in the country, of Rs 34.79 crore in 2019, Rs 26.35 crore in 2018 and Rs 55.71 crore in 2017, the NCRB data showed.
According to the RBI annual report, published in May 2022, the number of fake currency notes of 500 denomination detected by the banking system more than doubled to 79,669 pieces in 2021-22 fiscal over the previous year.
The number of counterfeit notes of 2,000 denomination detected in the system was 13,604 pieces during 2021-22, up 54.6 per cent from the preceding financial year.
After declining in 2020-21, the total number of FICN of all denominations detected in the banking sector increased to 2,30,971 pieces from 2,08,625 pieces in the previous fiscal.
During 2019-20, the number of FICN stood at 2,96,695 pieces.
“Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 16.4 per cent, 16.5 per cent, 11.7 per cent, 101.9 per cent and 54.6 per cent in the counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 200, Rs 500 (new design) and Rs 2,000, respectively,” said the RBI’s annual report for 2021-22.
The counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 50 and Rs 100 declined by 28.7 per cent and 16.7 per cent, respectively.
During 2021-22, out of the total FICN detected in the banking sector, 6.9 per cent was detected at the Reserve Bank and 93.1 per cent at other banks, the RBI report said.
One of the major objectives of the 2016 demonetisation of the then prevailing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was to curb circulation of fake currency notes.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would cease to be legal tender in India from that midnight. Modi had said that the decision had been taken to “fight corruption, black money and terrorism”.
The Rs 2,000 notes and Rs 500 notes with a new design had been introduced after demonetisation.
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