Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Fake Currency and Security Features in the New Currency

Our Prime Minister on 8/11/2016 when he announced the demonetisation of high value denominations, told to the nation that:

“Terrorism is a frightening threat. So many have lost their lives because of it. But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years. Many times, those using fake five hundred and thousand rupee notes have been caught and many such notes have been seized.”

Demonetisation announced by the Government is welcomed by many Indians since they viewed it as a panacea for all the ills like black money, terrorism abetted by the fake currency, etc. There were a lot of Indians believed that there are lakhs of crores of black money and fake currency in the system. In the initial weeks of demonetisation, a narrative sold by the evangelists of demonetisation was that black moeny and fake currency (Fake Indian Currency Note – FICN) are so rife and argued that it is almost 30-40% of the total currency in circulation. RBI data shows that as on 4/11/2016, the currency in circulation was ₹17.975 Lakh crores. We have later informed in the Parliament that out of this 86%, ie, ₹15.44 Lakh crores are of high denomination notes of ₹500 and ₹1000. So many believed that the quantity of fake currency is anywhere between 4-6 lakh crores!

FICN Estimates

Now let’s examine the quantity of FICN in the currency in circulation from Government's own database. Minster of State for Finance disclosed in the Parliament (Lok Sabha, Unstarred Question No.3285 05.08.2016) that:

“A study on Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) issues, including estimation of FICN in circulation, has been undertaken by Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata under the overall supervision of National Investigation Agency (NIA). As per the study, the face value of FICN in circulation was found to be about Rs. 400 crores. It was found the value remained constant for the last 4 years.”

Yes..the Government's own agencies estimated the quantity of FICN as just 400 crores, not even the amount run in to thousand of crores, forget the lakh crores propagated. This ₹400 crores is only 0.02% of the currency in circulation.Though it is a small quantity, FICN is being used for various subversive activities such as espionage, smuggling of arms, drugs and other contraband in India. As per the NIA probe, which has a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell, Pakistan is the major supplier of FICN in India.