Having their own names printed on currency notes and coins has been the ultimate fantasy of rulers since time immemorial. If we observe the coins minted during last 1000 years, then we can observe that rulers across all periods have attempted to make their names immortal by placing their faces and/or names on currency tools. As rulers changed and kingdoms replaced other kingdoms, so did the names and faces minted on coins and currency notes.
But the irony is that, even after 64 years of Indian independence, there are some citizens who still feel the same, and they are not shying away from scribbling their own names or their loved ones on currency notes. And, then there are those who write phone numbers, messages and what not!
They might not be aware, but Indian Government loses crores worth of currency notes, as they are defaced by scribbling on them.
This time, the government is acting tough on this practice, and has issued notifications that starting from January 1, 2014, banks will no longer accept any currency note which has been scribbled and defaced.
Clean Note Policy by RBI
This current notification by RBI is in continuation with its Clean Note Policy, wherein they had directed all bank employees to stop stapling note bundles and writing numbers/names or any other thing on the currency notes.
As per the official Reserve Bank of India communication dated May 10, 2013, it has been instructed that,
- Banks should do away with stapling of any note packet and instead secure note packets with paper bands,
- Banks should sort notes into re-issuable and non-issuables, and issue only clean notes to public; and,
- Banks should forthwith stop writing of any kind on watermark window of bank notes.
Writing on Currency Notes is Punishable in India
Few would be aware that scribbling on currency notes is a punishable offence in India. Under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949, RBI has clearly mentioned that writing and/or scribbling on currency notes and distribution of such defaced notes is punishable and can carry penalty as well. But time and again, we regularly come across instances when people violate this rule.
In the past, newspapers and publications have consistently highlighted this issue and even shared stories how this practice negatively affects Indian economy and as a result thousands of crores of rupees are wasted every year.
We believe that growth and progress of a nation should start with us. Responsible citizens should be aware that such immature and irresponsible behavior will only bring our economy down and halt our economic progress. We request all our readers to spread this message and stop scribbling and defacing currency notes at all levels.
Update Nov 23rd 4pm: RBI has not yet officially acknowledged this announcement; but the news has been widely spread over news and social media. We have sought a confirmation from RBI related to this, and still waiting for any official reply from their end. None the less, even if the news is not true, we as responsible citizens should abstain from writing anything on currency notes as it brings down our economy; and moreover writing anything on currency notes is punishable by law. So why to do it? We will keep you updated on this news.
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