Menace of counterfeit Notes

Went to the nearby Nilgiris Super Store. Bought a bunch of stuff and paid with the money, I had just drawn from an AXIS bank ATM.

The guy at the counter goes through each 500 rupee note and compares with a list he has, out of 4 notes I gave, he gives me back one note and says he can’t take it because it is of a series (6AC) that is on a list that’s been given to him by the store management to reject!!

I go through the security features of the note, and its all there. I asked him to tell me why is he rejecting the note, other than some arbitrary list, and he didn’t have a convincing explanation.

This is becoming more and more of a Menace. If people loose faith in the currency they carry will buy them goods, it turns into just a piece of paper.

How can Govt. Of India be blind to this? Why doesn’t govt. simply change all currency in circulation with new notes? Does it have the interest of the Black money hoarding politicians in mind?

How can a citizen guard against this, when he has no control over what currency is spewed out of an ATM? What does he do if he indeed has a dud note? Banks refuse to take it back, and Rs.500 or Rs.1000 can be substantial money for a lot of folks in this country.

Some estimates put the fake currency at over 100,000 crore rupee. And what is worse – There is no plan yet announced that will stop more inflow of fake currency and repose the faith of people in these notes.

In 1969, US Govt. halted the use of larger currencies than $100, for the fears of Counterfeit and the use of large cash in organized crime. Since then US has largely moved to Electronic Money, which is impossible to counterfeit.

US per capita GDP is $40,000 and its highest denomination is 100. US$100 still buys quite a bit, so higher denominations are not missed.

Indian per capita is about 150,000, which makes it very difficult to get rid of Rs.500 notes (if not Rs.1000).

So, govt. should immediately shift to a new Rs.500 (and Rs.1000) currency note, that too to a plastic-Paper-Cotton mix note, as mooted by RBI in 2007. This is far more difficult to counterfeit.

This is the only way we can have peace of mind about cash we get from our ATMs.