New Delhi: Dismissing reports on demonetisation of Rs 2,000 notes, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday 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.
“Fake currency notes are of low quality. They use low-quality paper and ink and can be easily identified,” the Minister of State for Home Affairs told the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.
“It is not possible for them (forgers) to copy all the security features introduced in the new notes,” he added.
Asked whether the government was going to demonetise the Rs 2,000 notes, Rijiju quipped: “Don’t go by rumours.”
Rijiju told the upper house that after the November 8 demonetisation, various Indian security agencies, including the National Investigation Agency, seized fake currency notes with a face value of Rs 6.23 crore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 last year, and said it was aimed at checking fake currency.
As per the government data, maximum fake currency has been seized in Gujarat, that is, 22,479 fake notes in Rs 2,000 denomination of the face value of nearly Rs 4.5 crore.
Besides, West Bengal and Assam recorded bulk of fake notes seizure.
In response to Congress member Anand Sharma’s query on whether seven of the 11 security features on the new notes were compromised, Rijiju said multiple security features are introduced in notes to ensure not all of them can be copied.
“The initial fake currency notes were of very low quality and could be easily identified. The later ones used better paper and ink. But even these do not match the original notes and can be identified,” he said.
The Minister said the government is running a training/awareness campaign in association with the Reserve Bank of India to sensitise people on fake currency and how to identify it.
However, he did not answer as to how agencies in a neighbouring country, which are pumping fake currency into India, got similar paper and dies for the notes.
“All these cases are under investigation, including for sources of FICN (fake Indian currency notes),” Rijiju said.