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RBI to try plastic currency in 5 centres

Notes of Rs 10 denomination to be distributed through the central bank's five regional offices

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Amid instances of counterfeiting of notes, the Reserve Bank today said it is working on launching plastic currency and will soon launch a pilot project for the same.

"Counterfeiting of plastic notes is very difficult. So we are planning to launch some plastic money on pilot basis in 4-5 centres. Like Jaipur, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar and other centres. We are working on it," RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan told reporters here.

Under the pilot project for issue of plastic currency notes, notes of Rs 10 denomination would be distributed through the central bank's five regional offices.

The proposed shift to plastic currency notes, instead of the normal paper notes, is primarily aimed at checking the counterfeiting as also high cost associated with printing of paper currency, as they need early replacement due to soiling and mutilation.

These notes would have an average life span of 5 years compared to one year for the currency notes, and also these notes are cleaner than paper notes and it would be difficult to counterfeit the currency.

Besides studying the potential cost savings through plastic notes, the pilot project will also look into the environmental impact of the proposed plastic notes.

The polymer notes were first introduced in Australia to safeguard against counterfeiting of currency. Besides Australia, other countries which have introduced plastic notes include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Bermuda, Brunei and Vietnam.

First Published: Mon, July 09 2012. 17:58 IST