“The bank notes are proposed to be based on plastic or polymer substrate. The raw material is being purchased,” said Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal to a query.
The query was whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would print plastic currency, Meghwal said the apex bank was planning to launch the same after conducting field trials.
It may be noted in 2014, the government had said that one billion plastic currency notes of Rs 10 denomination would be introduced in a field trial in five cities. The selected cities included Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar.
Plastic notes, he said, have an average life span of five years and were difficult to copy. Also, plastic currency notes are cleaner compared to their paper counterparts. Plastic notes were first introduced in Australia to guard against counterfeiting.
To another query, he said the RBI informed it in December 2015 that they have received some banknotes of Rs 1,000 minus security the thread. These notes were printed at Currency Note Press (CNP), Nashik, on paper supplied by Security Paper Mill (SPM), Hoshangabad. An enquiry was initiated by Security Printing and Minting Corporation and it was found that the units involved were SPM and CNP.
Disciplinary proceedings were initiated as per departmental rules against the guilty personnel.
He further said action was also taken not only to strengthen quality procedure but also online inspection system in manufacturing process.
In a bid to avoid similar mistakes in future, training has been imparted to concerned persons. Extra inspections were also introduced as a precautionary measure, added Meghwal.