New Delhi, April 6: Even as speculations are doing rounds that the government might launch new Rs 200 currency notes after June, the government on Wednesday has clarified that the newly launched Rs 2000 notes will not be scrapped. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday dismissed reports on demonetisation of Rs 2,000 notes and said it was not possible for forgers to copy all security features of the new currency notes in Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations.

Rijiju further added that it is not possible for the forgers to copy all the security features introduced in the new notes. When he was asked if the government was going to demonetise the Rs 2,000 notes, Rijiju said: “Don’t go by rumours.” “Fake currency notes are of low quality. They use low-quality paper and ink and can be easily identified,” Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.

During his address in the Rajya Sabha, Rijiju said that various Indian security agencies, including the National Investigation Agency, have seized fake currency notes with a face value of Rs 6.23 crore post demonetisation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the nation by surprise on November 8 when he announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will be scrapped. He stated that this step by the government was to flush out black money from the nation. Rijiju informed that the government is running an awareness campaign in association with the Reserve Bank of India to sensitise people on fake currency and how to identify it.

To check counterfeiting, the government has decided to change of security features of Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 500 every 3-4 years. The change will be done in accordance with global standards. As per reports, investigators on some of the recently seized fake notes found that at least 11 of the 17 security features in the new Rs. 2,000 notes had been replicated. Reports state that post demonetisation, new notes worth about Rs 5 lakh crore have been introduced while valid notes worth Rs 2 lakh crore were with the banks when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were discontinued.

Cash crunch in ATMs
Cash crunch in ATMs

The rise of a liquidity crunch contrasts with official RBI data, which suggests the total currency in circulation by the end of March 2017 has increased to Rs 13.12 lakh crore, Moneycontrol reported. The currency circulation this year is against a low of Rs 7.8 lakh crore immediately after the cash ban and Rs 16.63 lakh crore a year back. Meanwhile, RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya in February had said that the process of replacing currency would take another 2 months.

Even after four months of demonetisation, a liquidity crunch again seems to be taking hold in some parts of the country. Many states are facing a severe cash crunch as automatic teller machines (ATMs) are running dry. Many ATM machines are not dispensing cash and not enough currency notes available. Reports reveal that the most hit states that are running out of cash in ATMs are Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. A State Bank of India official was quoted by Business Standard saying that the supply of currency from RBI was far less than the demand. RBI has been supplying Rs 50 crore daily, whereas the demand was Rs 250 crore.