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Last Updated : Jan 16, 2020 01:05 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Rs2,000 notes contributed 61 percent of the total fake currencies seized in 2018, up from 53 percent in 2017

A total of 54776 pieces of fake Rs2000 notes worth Rs10.96 crore were seized in 2018 out of the total 257243 pieces of fake currencies seized in number and Rs17.95 crore crore in terms of value

(Representational image)
(Representational image)

Fake Rs2000 notes contributed about 61 percent of the total fake currencies seized, in terms of value, in the year 2018, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. In 2017 too, Rs2000 fake currency notes had contributed over half of the total counterfeit notes seized--about 53 percent.

According to the ‘Crime in India 2018’ report by NCRB, the government agency entrusted with taking a stock of the criminal activities occurs in the country every year, a total of 54776 pieces of fake Rs2000 notes worth Rs10.96 crore were seized in 2018 out of the total 257243 pieces of fake currencies seized in number and Rs17.95 crore crore in terms of value.

These numbers are significant because one of the claims by the government while introducing new Rs2,000 pink color notes, post demonetisation, was that these notes weren’t easy to forge and, thus, would help curb the problem of fake notes. The NCRB data shows otherwise.

Where is the money?

In terms of states, most number of Rs2000 counterfeit notes were seized from Tamil Nadu--a total of 12560 pieces of Rs2000 bills were seized from the southern state, followed by West Bengal (9615) and Karnataka (6750). Delhi is not far behind (6457). Besides, 2722 notes were confiscated from Gujarat and 2355 from Maharashtra.

Remember, these are the figures of confiscated fake currency notes. Not all counterfeit notes are seized by investigative agencies and, if one accounts the number of fake currencies floating in the market, the extent of the menace will be understandably huge.

Why too many Rs2000 fake notes?

In two consecutive years after demonetisation, fake currencies in Rs2,000 denomination has shown a big jump. One possible reason could be because these notes are easy to store when it comes to large quantities compared with lower denomination notes. In fact, the job becomes easier to counterfeit note makers with the arrival of the Rss2000 notes because the time required to produce fake bills for large amounts using these notes would be much less compared with those of lower denominations.

Missed goals of demonetisation

There were three stated objectives for demonetisation when Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the country with a televised statement about overnight invalidation of Rs500 and Rs1000 notes effectively sucking out 86 percent of the currency in circulation on the evening of 8 November, 2016. These were curbing fake currency, killing black money and ending cash based corruption. There were other objectives added to the exercise as days progressed such as pushing digital transactions. But as far as the original goals are concerned, all three seems to have missed the targets. As explained by the NCRB data, fake currency makers have not stopped operations despite the introduction of the carefully designed Rs2000 notes. Given that more than 99 percent of the entire demonetised black money came back to the banking system (according to RBI data), the initial expectation by the government that about Rs3-4 lakh crore of unaccounted money will get extinguished outside formal banking system proved to be a disappointment. Experts say that only about 5 percent of the total black money in the domestic market is cash based (rest is in the form of other assets such as real estate) and so a measure like demonetisation cannot be effective in addressing the problem of black money. Similarly, there is no evidence to show that cash-based corruption has come down post demonetisation.

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First Published on Jan 16, 2020 01:05 pm
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