It seems that Govt. of India is now determined to start printing and circulating plastic currency notes, pan-India. A recent statement from Finance Ministry has confirmed that trial for Rs 10 currency notes, printed on plastic would be soon launched across 5 locations.
But, in the last 8 years, Govt. had expressed repeated interest in printing plastic notes, but nothing concrete came out. The first indication came in 2009, and then in 2011, and then again in 2014 when RBI issued a notification regarding the same. In fact, in the end of 2014, RBI had said that 1 billion currency notes in the denomination of Rs 10 would be printed.
For a trial, Govt. had said that 5 locations have been selected: Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Shimla. But after this announcement, we didn’t receive any update regarding the same.
Is Govt. Really Serious This Time?
In a written response in Lok Sabha, Minister of state for finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, has confirmed that Govt will, in fact, introduce Rs 10 currency notes across 5 Indian locations as a trial, and the required notification has been sent to RBI.
He said, “It has been decided to conduct a field trial with plastic banknotes at five locations of the country. Approval for procurement of plastic substrate and printing of bank notes of Rs 10 denomination on plastic banknote substrates has been conveyed to the Reserve Bank of India,”
The statement doesn’t mention the 5 locations where the trial for Rs 10 would take place. And, the statement also doesn’t mention the result of last trials which happened in December 2014.
Reason Behind Plastic Currencies
In the statement issued by the Minister, it has been mentioned that plastic notes result in longer life and lesser wear and tear.
The statement said, “Over the years, central banks across the world have been exploring different solutions for extending the lifecycle of banknotes. These include introduction of plastic banknotes and other developments in banknote substrates for enhancing durability including use of natural fibre blends, varnish of banknotes etc”
Besides these, plastic notes are faster to print. As per a research by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), plastic notes can be printed 10 times faster than paper-based notes. After demonetization, if plastic notes would have been printed, then the pinch of lesser currencies in the market would have been lessened.
Besides, plastic notes can be an excellent method to stop counterfeiting as they are very hard to replicate. In countries like Australia and Canada, fake currencies have almost ended, due to the introduction of plastic notes.
We will keep you updated as we receive more information regarding printing and circulation of plastic notes. In case you happen to reside at a location where plastic notes have been put on trial, then don’t hesitate to share your experience and opinions, by commenting right here!