The Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena on Friday said that the government is going to introduce polymer bank notes on a trial basis. Introducing polymer bank notes, or in simple words, plastic bank notes had been on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) agenda since 2009.
The government has decided that Rs. 100 crore worth of plastic bank notes will be introduced across 5 select locations of the country. All the plastic bank notes in India will be in the denomination of Rs. 10.
What are plastic / polymer bank notes?
Plastic bank notes or polymer bank notes are made from a plastic polymer. They aim to incorporate a lot more convenience, durability and enhanced security features as compared to paper bank notes. If these polymer bank notes are implemented in the Indian system, India will be following the footsteps of Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries on the world in terms of currency notes. At the moment, a total of 7 countries have polymer bank notes in circulation.
How will plastic bank notes in India affect the average person?
If the plastic bank notes in India are made in line and standards of the other polymer bank notes in circulation around the world, they will have the following advantages.
- Plastic bank notes are much harder to tear than their paper counterparts. You cannot simply tear away a plastic bank note, it would require considerable effort. So, obviously they will last much longer than normal paper notes.
- Plastic bank notes are water proof. So you no longer have to worry about letting your money get wet in the rain or even forgetting money in the pocket of your pants.
- Plastic notes are more durable than paper bank notes. This would be a top advantage especially for a country like India where dust and other wear and tear is quite rampant. No longer will you have to argue with a shop keeper to tell him to give you a ‘better note’.
- Plastic bank notes are extremely hard, if not impossible to counterfeit. It cannot merely be scanned, copied or reprinted. This is great news for India because no longer will business owners have to worry about counterfeit notes. Plastic bank notes are also power packed with other security features which may not benefit the average Joe, but will benefit government agencies in terms of security and traceability.
- The polymer that is generally used in plastic bank notes is a biaxially-oriented polypropylene. This polymer is recyclable. For all you environmentalists out there who are shivering at the thought of plastic deteriorating the environment, calm down because these plastic bank notes will be recyclable.
As you can see, the introduction of plastic bank notes in India seems to be the right thing to do. Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said that "A final decision will be taken depending on the results of the field trial". Let’s wait and watch!
What’s your take on these Plastic Bank Notes?