The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released its annual report for the financial year 2022-23. The report shows that the number of fake Rs 500 denomination notes detected increased by 14.4% to 91,110 pieces in FY23. However, the number of fake Rs 2,000 denomination notes detected decreased to 9,806 pieces. Counterfeit notes of Rs 20 and Rs 500 (new design) increased by 8.4% and 14.4%, respectively. While, counterfeit notes of Rs 10, Rs 100, and Rs 2,000 declined by 11.6%.
Although the total number of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected in the banking sector declined to 2,25,769 pieces in 2022-23 from 2,30,971 pieces in the previous fiscal year.
“During 2022-23, out of the total Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected in the banking sector, 4.6$ were detected at the Reserve Bank and 95.4% at other banks,” the central bank mentioned in its report.
While the RBI has continued to clarify that the Rs 2000 notes are not banned and still remain a legal tender, questions have been raised regarding the reason behind withdrawal of the pink notes barely seven years after their introduction.
Even the recent numbers as per RBI’s annual report tell a different story.
The total expenditure incurred on security printing during 2022-23 was ₹4,682.80 crore as against ₹4,984.80 crore in the previous year, RBI said in its report
The RBI report’s data also mentions that fake versions of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that were demonetised in 2016, are still in circulation. In fact, fake Rs 1000 notes’ circulation has shot up, with the numbers being 482 in FY23, vs 11 and 2 in FY22 and FY21. As far as fake Rs 500 notes (old) are concerned, the numbers were 6 in FY23, 14 and 9 in FY22 and FY21.