Despite New Delhi's November 2016 massive currency swap, counterfeit currency remains a challenge, according to the country’s top bank - Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Even though the number of counterfeit notes in old currency series was eliminated in the first three months of current financial year, the new series, purported to be of very high security, is increasingly being duplicated.
According to RBI statistics, the number of counterfeit demonetised Rs. 1,000 notes has come down from 0.25 million pieces in 2016-17 to “zero” pieces in the first three month of 2019-20.
The RBI said 0.10 million fake Rs. 1,000 currency notes were detected in 2017-18, falling to a mere 717 in 2018-19. No fake demonetised Rs. 1,000 note has been detected between April and June this year.
However, fake versions of the new high-security Rs. 2,000, Rs. 500, and Rs. 200 currency notes, are being detected with increasing regularity.
As per the RBI, the number of counterfeit Rs.500 notes in the new series increased by 121 percent in 2018-19, compared with 2017-18. Similarly, in case of the new Rs. 2,000 note, counterfeiting increased by 21.9 percent during 2018-19, against the previous fiscal.
The denomination of Rs. 200 was introduced in August 2017. A total of 12,728 counterfeit notes of Rs. 200 denomination were detected in 2018-19, compared with 79 the year of its introduction.
Several forgers have been busted recently, in the cities of Kolkata, Madurai and various other parts of the country.