Currency counterfeiters appear to have started focusing more on the Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 denominations, even though the traditional favourite Rs 500 bills continue to be the most to be faked by numbers, the Reserve Bank has said.
The banking system detected over 2.52 lakh pieces of counterfeit notes of Rs 500 denomination in FY14 as against the 2.81 lakh the year before, while the number of Rs 1,000 denomination fake notes rose to 1.10 lakh as against the 98,459 in the preceding year, it said.
Detection of Rs 100 denomination fake notes increased by 10,000 pieces during the fiscal to 1.18 lakh pieces, the RBI said in its recently released annual report.
"During 2013-14, the detection of counterfeit notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 100 increased by 11.8% and 9.8% respectively, whereas that of Rs 500 denomination decreased by 10.3%," the central bank said in its annual report.
The data, however, exclude the detection by the state police and various other law enforcement agencies, it said. The share of the banks in detecting fake currency has been steadily climbing as 95.9% of the total detections were done by the banks, it said, adding that only 4.1% of the detections were by the RBI.
"To instill confidence of the public in banknotes in circulation and with a view to controlling and mitigating the risk of financial loss as also loss of reputation, banks have been advised to re-align their cash management in such a manner so as to ensure that cash receipts in denominations of Rs 100 and above are not put into re-circulation without the bank notes being machine processed for authenticity," the regulator said.
Meanwhile, the RBI has said there has been a sizable jump in the expenditure on security, printing and distribution of the currency notes between July 2013 and June 2014, as against the year-ago period.
During FY14, the central bank spent Rs 32.1 billion on the account as against the Rs 28.7 billion in the previous fiscal.
"With a view to obviating the need for making repeated logistical and security arrangements for transportation of bank notes, thereby reducing the costs, as also for ensuring speedy movement of treasure, a scheme of direct remittance of bank notes from note printing presses to currency chests is being progressively pursued," it said.