Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday launched a new set of coins of 50 paise, Rs 1, 2, 5 and Rs 10 with the new rupee symbol embedded in them.
The new series of coins have been introduced with features at the edge, which make it convenient for easy recognition and distinction.
“The design has been adopted keeping in mind the difficulties faced by visually challenged people,” a finance ministry statement said.
Last year the government had approved a symbol for the rupee that elegantly combines Devanagiri and Roman scripts to signify the rising strength, ambition and spread of the country’s currency in a fast globalising economy.
The rupee, introduced as a silver coin for transactions by emperor Sher Shah Suri — who built the Grand Trunk road in the 16th century — was only two decades ago largely unrecognised in global markets, but now joins an elite club of symbol-endowed national currencies that include the US dollar, the British pound, the euro and the Japanese yen.
The symbol designed by D Udaya Kumar, who has just joined the faculty of the department of design at IIT Guwahati, was selected from more than 3,000 entries that were evaluated by a jury of experts, government and RBI officials."The new coins will not only reduce the cost of moving materials but also are of user-friendly size and weight," Mukherjee said.
Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) is minting the new series of coins of all denominations.
As on date, approximately 100 million coins of all denominations have been minted.
The new coins will be lifted by the RBI for circulation to public very soon.
Mukherjee had promised to launch the new series of coins in his budget speech in February.