In what is yet another sign of India’s unpreparedness in the aftermath of invalidating its most circulated cash, two variants of new currency notes have surfaced in the market, creating confusion among citizens.
Days after people began reporting discrepancies in the newly issued Rs 500 note, the Reserve Bank of India has admitted of some printing errors. These errors are not only creating confusion among people, but also pose counterfeiting risks.
“It is likely that notes with printing defect have gotten released due to the current rush,” RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala told TOI, adding that one could still use the note in transactions, or return it to RBI. According to the report, these notes differ in alignment of the national emblem and serial numbers.
India’s Prime Minister televised address to the nation earlier this month, in which he announced invalidation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 cash, wasn’t only a surprise to common citizens, but also to government authorities, who have been struggling to get things on track ever since.
The Rs 500 ($7.5) and Rs 1,000 ($15) notes were the highest denomination bills at the time. Furthermore, they were also the most circulated notes in India, accounting for as much 86 percent of all cash circulation, or 23.2 billion notes. The government is slowly trying to replace all these notes and currently maintains restrictions on how much cash one can withdraw in a day.
Over the past two weeks, we have already seen a handful of incidents when fake notes being were used in the market. With discrepancies originating from official channels, we could see fraudulent minds cash in on the situation and make things worse for the rest of us.