Will ₹500 notes be taken back too? RBI reveals number of fake ₹500 notes is 10x more than fake ₹2000 notes in FY23

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There’s been 14.4% rise in counterfeit ₹500 notes in the country.

In its recently released annual report for the financial year 2022-23, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has brought attention to a significant increase in the number of counterfeit Rs 500 denomination notes in circulation. The report highlights a rise of 14.4%, with a total of 91,110 fake Rs 500 notes detected during the fiscal year. In contrast, the number of counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes decreased to 9,806 pieces.

The data presented in the report reveals that counterfeit notes of Rs 20 and the new design of Rs 500 witnessed an increase of 8.4% and 14.4%, respectively. However, counterfeit notes of Rs 10, Rs 100, and Rs 2,000 experienced a decline of 11.6%.

Despite the overall decline in the total number of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected in the banking sector, which decreased from 2,30,971 pieces in the previous fiscal year to 2,25,769 pieces in 2022-23, concerns have been raised regarding the rise in fake Rs 500 notes.

The report highlights that out of the FICNs detected in the banking sector during the mentioned period, 4.6% were identified at the Reserve Bank, while the remaining 95.4% were detected at other banks.

Although the RBI continues to emphasize that the Rs 2,000 notes are legal tender and have not been banned, questions have arisen about the decision to withdraw the pink notes merely seven years after their introduction.

The annual report also sheds light on the expenditure incurred on security printing, which amounted to ₹4,682.80 crore during 2022-23, a decrease from ₹4,984.80 crore in the previous year.

Additionally, the report mentions that counterfeit versions of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which were demonetized in 2016, are still in circulation. Notably, there has been a surge in the circulation of fake Rs 1,000 notes, with the numbers increasing to 482 in FY23, compared to 11 and 2 in FY22 and FY21, respectively. Regarding fake Rs 500 notes (old design), the figures stood at 6 in FY23, with 14 and 9 reported in FY22 and FY21, respectively.

The rising number of counterfeit Rs 500 notes has raised concerns among authorities, prompting them to reassess security measures and further scrutinize currency circulation. Efforts are expected to be made to combat this issue effectively and protect the integrity of the Indian currency.

As the situation unfolds, it is imperative for individuals and businesses to remain vigilant and exercise caution while handling cash transactions, particularly with Rs 500 notes.

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