To ascertain the amount of counterfeit currency, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all banks to send details of all fake notes detected during exchange and deposits of defunct old high-value notes post demonetisation.
Banks are required to send details of fake currencies in three different dates, the first of which is December 16.
The Reserve Bank directed banks to keep record of new bank notes in view of seizures by Income Tax Department and other law enforcement agencies of large quantities of high denomination notes.
It has been felt necessary to put in place an appropriate reporting system to keep track of issuance of these banknotes by the currency chests, RBI said in a statement.
In view of the above, the banks are advised to maintain, at the currency chest level and at link branches level, a daily record of issuances showing the serial numbers of Rs 500 and above received from RBI as remittance and issuance to their own branches, branches of other banks and post offices, branch wise and denomination wise on daily basis, it said.
The daily record of issuances should be signed by joint custodians and the branch manager at the end of the day, it said. Yesterday, the Finance Ministry asked all public sector banks to strictly maintain record of deposits made through both old Rs 500/1,000 notes and other valid currencies.
In a letter written to chief executive officers of public sector banks, the Finance Ministry asked that “maintenance of records regarding deposit of Specified Bank Note (SBN) and Non-SBN, as the case may be, is essential both in the bank record as well as the customers record.”
The letter addressed to all the Managing Directors of state-owned banks and Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association, the Department of Financial Services directed them consider this on urgent basis and send action taken report in this regard by December 16.
“Further, counterfeit notes detected in the SBNs received in exchange and deposits should be kept branch-wise, in a secured and segregated manner, so that further analysis, as necessary, can be conducted at a later stage,” read the RBI notification.
Though the RBI is publishing data on SBNs regarding the amount exchanged/deposited at banks and RBI counters on a regular basis, there is no data as to what percentage of it contains the counterfeit notes in SBNs.
Giving the rationale behind scrapping SBNs last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation on November 8 said it is aimed at eliminating fake notes and unaccounted money from the system apart from checking terrorism financing.