As the crisis owing to demonetisation persists, reports have emerged that the new notes issued by banks are surprisingly different in colour and design from each other. The Times of India reported on Friday about at least three cases where there was a marked difference between two new 500 notes. The report said such differences in legal tender could cause counterfeiting easier, which was one of the reasons cited for effecting demometisation.
The Reserve Bank of India, for its part, told TOI that the defect could be due to “rush” in printing and that people could use these notes or return them to RBI.
In one case, a resident of Delhi told the newspaper that the note had visible shadows of every object, including the image of Gandhi and the national emblem. Some of the items on the note were also placed differently.
In another case, a resident of Gurugram noticed that the size of borders were unequal in two notes. In a third case, a Mumbai resident was given two notes in which the colour of one note was lighter than the other.
Commenting on the discrepancies, RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala told TOI, “It is likely that notes with printing defect has got released due to the current rush. However, people can freely accept such a note in transaction or return it to RBI.”
Two variants of Rs 500 note surface, RBI says printing defect due to rush: Times of India pic.twitter.com/uxHbbZso21
— Deepak Bajpai (@BajpaiDeepak) November 25, 2016
Former Home Secretary GK Pillai also spoke to TOI, saying that counterfeiting is easier in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan since they now have “sophisticated” mechanism. Experts said such discrepancies will increase the chances of counterfeit notes, pointing out the urgent need to check notes thoroughly before accepting them.
The government Thursday night, without any warning, stopped all over-the-counter exchange of notes. This morning, however, it said the exchange of notes can be done only at RBI counters.