Shortage of staff at its currency note examination sections and a higher amount of money in circulation are forcing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to incinerate soiled notes at a faster clip.
The RBI's two new mints have contributed to the large increase in the supply of fresh notes, while the capacity of its note examination section has declined.
There are as many as 4,000 currency chests in the country and 101 note examination sections.
RBI spokesperson Alpana Kilawala said the total number of currency notes in circulation has increased in the economy due to which more notes were getting soiled and were being returned to the note examination section.
Many such note examination sections were facing severe shortage of trained staff due to which such notes were straightway discarded/incinerated.
The increase in currency under circulation also means chests at all locations were full to the brim. So, replacing the old notes with new ones was the best option.
Commenting on the possibility of fake notes being replaced by real ones, Kilawala said, "The RBI has experts who are provided regular training and the possibility of fake notes evading detection is remote in any case."
RBI officials here said that as much as 90 per cent of notes deposited in the RBI currency chest were being discarded.
In the process, fake notes were also being eradicated.
According to the report of the committee on currency management, soiled notes returning form circulation as the total of those received by RBI and those awaiting removal from chests rose from 6,300 million pieces in 1984-85 to about 7,000 million pieces in 1988-89.
As on date the figure is approximately 6,855 million pieces. At present notes with denomination Rs 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50 were being discarded.