The government on Friday said it has unearthed Rs 5 and Rs 10 fake coins with a face value of about Rs 6.37 lakh and detected counterfeit notes of face value of Rs 27.79 crore till September this year. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that in the current year till September 2016, over 5.74 lakh pieces of counterfeit notes have been detected having a total face value of over Rs 27.79 crore.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, in 2015, over 8.86 lakh Fake Indian Current Notes (FICN) were detected having a face value of over Rs 43.83 crore. In 2014, over 8 lakh pieces were detected of face value of Rs 40.58 crore.
“Use of counterfeit/FICNs is causing various subversive activities such as espionage, smuggling of arms, drugs and other contraband in India. It is the main cause of parallel shadow economy,” Jaitley said.
The World Bank in July 2010 estimated the size of the shadow economy for India at 23.2 per cent of GDP in 2007.
“A parallel shadow economy corrodes and eats into the vitals of the country’s economy. It can generate inflation and deprives government of its legitimate revenues,” Jaitley said.
With a view to curbing financing of terrorism and also eliminating black money, the government had on November 8 cancelled the legal tender character of high denomination bank notes of 500 and 1,000 denominations issued by RBI.
“Incorporating new security features/new designs in the bank notes to stay ahead of the counterfeiters is an ongoing process. Towards this end, new bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 have been introduced in new design recently,” he said.
In a separate reply, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said the government is aware of the reports of circulation of fake 10 rupee coins.
“Two factories were unearthed in Bawana and a case was registered… Fake coins of Rs 5 and Rs 10 denomination valuing over Rs 6.37 lakh in Indian currency were recovered,” Meghwal said.
Further, one such factory in Peera Garhi yielded fake coins of Rs 10 denomination valuing Rs 8,000 in Indian currency, he said.
The government has set up one special FICN Coordination (FCORD) Group in the Home Ministry to share the intelligence or information among different security agencies of states or the Centre to counter the menace of circulation of fake currency notes.
A terror finding and fake currency cell (TFFC) has been established under the National Investigation Agency to stop terror funding and FICN activities.