Despite the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) instructing other banks to not issue currency notes that are scribbled upon or soiled, city residents are complaining about the bank employees giving notes which have something written on them. ATM machines are also dispensing such notes.
On August 14, 2013, RBI had advised the banks to instruct their staff not to scribble or write on the currency notes since it was observed that the bank officials themselves were in the habit of writing on the notes which went against the RBI’s Clean Note Policy.
“Out of respect for the currency, we have a clean note policy and we keep issuing instructions to the banks to give only clean notes to the customers. Incognito raids are also conducted from time to time in various banks to check the same”, said Chandrakant, Manager, Human Resources Management Department, RBI, Chandigarh. Sanjay Kumar, who runs a canteen in the Punjab National Bank in Sector 17 said, “While getting a cheque cashed, the bank employees have given me notes which have something written on them. The same has happened while making an ATM transaction.” Similarly, Kamaldeep, who works in the UT social welfare department said, “I have received notes from the banks and ATMs which have something written on it.”
When asked the reason behind this, Chandrakant said, “Some ATM machines still have an older version of the software installed for dispensing money. We have upgraded the ATM dispensing softwarse. New software detects a soiled note and retains it. Only clean notes are dispensed now”.
The deputy general manager of the issue department of RBI, Sanjay Bhatia said, “If an ATM is dispensing a soiled note or an employee is giving it, the customer can exchange it. If the bank refuses to change it, the senior authorities of the bank should be informed. If they also fail to take an action, the incident can be reported to us and we will take required action.”
There were rumors that from January 1, 2014, banks will not accept notes with anything written on them. RBI had released a clarification that it had not issued any such instructions. Rather, RBI instructed the banks to take such notes and exchange it with clean ones. “When rumors had spread, many customers came to exchange soiled notes. However, after a RBI clarification, no one comes to get the currency exchanged,” an SBI employee said.