The union finance ministry has swung into action and has sought a report from the State Bank of India after one of its ATMs at South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar dispensed fake Rs 2000 notes earlier this month.
“We have asked SBI to look into the matter immediately. We have sought a prima facie report on the incident,” GC Murmu, additional secretary, financial services, told Hindustan Times.
According to sources, the cash that was being dispensed in the Sangam Vihar ATM on February 6 came from the bank’s currency chest at Okhla. The counterfeit verification is undertaken at all currency chests. “In this case too, the verification was done..so we are looking into the issue, we need to understand how this happened and this incident looks more like an act of mischief,” said an SBI official on condition of anonymity.
The notes, dispensed bore the label of ‘Children Bank of India’ instead of Reserve Bank of India and ‘Guaranteed by the Children’s Government’ in place of Guaranteed by the Central Government. The incident took place at a time when many ATMs in the country are still running dry and the cash shortage has aggravated in many places including Delhi and the national capital region.
Sources said that while the bank has little role to play in this as cash management, which includes loading of ATMs, is outsourced to cash logistics companies, activities around currency chests need to be monitored. “The bank will undertake a thorough scrutiny based on CCTV footages,” the bank official of said.
Circulation of fake bank notes is gaining pace despite demonetization sucking out 86% of currency overnight on November 8. The government has repeatedly underlined that the demonetisation exercise would weed out fake notes but over the past few weeks, several reports of counterfeit notes have poured in.