NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel on Wednesday discussed steps taken by the government to prevent the circulation of high-value counterfeit notes.
The Committee on Subordinate Legislation, headed by Congress member T Subbarami Reddy, called senior government officials, managing directors of few public sector banks and top officials of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) to brief on circulation of counterfeit currency in India, sources said.
The committee expressed concern over counterfeiting of high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. The panel wanted to know how unscrupulous elements are able to copy high-security features, sources said.
As per RBI's latest annual report, counterfeit notes in the new design of Rs 500, introduced in 2016, increased 121 per cent during 2018-19 as against previous fiscal, while it rose by 21.9 per cent for Rs 2,000 notes.
The notes of Rs 200 denomination, which were introduced in August 2017, witnessed detection of 12,728 counterfeit notes as against 79 during the previous year.
During the fiscal, the increase in circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 was just 18 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, indicating that the jump in the circulation of counterfeit notes is not just a factor of an increased volume of the usage of these notes.
The new currency notes were brought into circulation by RBI in a phased manner, following demonetisation on November 2016, to weed out old notes which were considered to be more prone to counterfeiting.
The sources said the meeting was attended by Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, RBI Deputy Governor, top officials of investigative agencies and heads of Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Allahabad Bank.
Besides, Revenue Secretary and chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs were also called for the meeting.