Toy and stationery shops in Punjab’s Nabha town are selling near-identical specimens of the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes for just a few bucks even as the government tries its best to staunch the flow of bogus bills.
The purpose behind the ‘currency notes’ appears to be ‘fun’ if one goes by the labels on them, but they can easily take anyone for a ride. The size, contours and colour combination are so perfect that they don’t raise suspicion at first glance.
“A Rs 500 note was lying on the refrigerator, which I gave to the newspaper hawker. He came back after an hour and told me that I had given him a fake note. My grandson told me that he had bought it from a stationery shop for Re 1,” a senior citizen told this reporter.
When this correspondent checked in the market, the notes were being sold at a few stationary and toy shops. The notes were labelled as “Children Bank of India”, “Churan Lable” and had other funny words on them. Since people are not fully accustomed to the feel of the new notes, they can easily be fooled.
“There is a good demand for these notes. Children and adults both buy them. I have sold around 15 packets,” said a shopkeeper.
- 1. Bharatiya Manoranjan Bank instead of Bharatiya Reserve Bank
- 2. Serial number 000000
- 3. Rupee sign missing
- 4. Churan Lable instead of strip with leaf markings
- 5. P.K. logo instead of RBI seal
- 6. I promise to pay the barer two thousand coupens (sic) instead of I promise to pay the bearer the sum of two thousand rupees
- 7. Governor’s signature missing
- 8. Churan Lable instead of the Ashok emblem
- 9. Children Bank of India instead of Reserve Bank of India
- 10. Guaranteed by the Children Government instead of Gauranteed by the Central Government
Nabha deputy superintendent of police Jaskeerat Singh, who saw these notes, said he will check what his department can do to check their sale.
“However the labels are clear, the matter is serious since it’s easy to use them in transaction at petrol pumps or dark places like street food vendors who set their stalls in the evening,” the DSP told Hindustan Times.
“The police will require the directions from higher authorities in seizing these notes from the market,” he added.
Political leaders from opposition parties in the state said the claims of the Narendra Modi government that demonetisation will to purge the economy of “black money” and counterfeit bills have fallen flat.
“If toy making companies can make such specimens, anti-social elements are bound to do a much better job to produce the counterfeits,” Randeep Singh Nabha, Congress MLA from Amloh, said.
“The government should have printed the currency notes using advanced safety features at least,” said AAP leader Gian Singh.
Similar Rs 2,000 notes were dispensed from a State Bank of India ATM in south Delhi’s Sangam Vihar, which appeared genuine at first glance but a closer look revealed deliberate errors.
A customer care executive of a call centre in Chhatarpur withdrew Rs 8,000 — in denominations of 2,000 — from the ATM on February 6 and found to his horror that four bills were issued by the “Children Bank of India” and “Bharatiya Manoranjan Bank”. Not the Reserve Bank of India, which is the issuing authority of cash in the country.
The notes were “Guaranteed by the Children’s Government” in place of “Guaranteed by the Central Government”, “Churan label” instead of the latent image, and a ‘PK’ logo took the place of the RBI seal among some of the other obvious deviations.