The number of fake ₹500 notes in India increased by 31% in the last one year

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The number of fake ₹500 notes in India increased by 31% in the last one year
<p>Fake notes of the most widely circulated currency denomination in India increased by 31% in the last one year<br></p>Unsplash
  • The number of fake ₹500 notes in circulation have increased by 31% over the last one year, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) latest report.
  • This does not include the fake notes and currency seized by law enforcement agencies.
  • The ₹500 notes is the most widely circulated denomination in the country right now and accounts for one-fourth of the overall volume.
Fake currency has been a thorn in India’s economic system even after the Narendra Modi administration’s demonetisation exercise back in 2016. Four years down the line, and after adding ‘security features’, counterfeit currency still seems to be lurking in the shadows.

Overall, there has been a 29.7% decrease in the circulation of fake currency over the last one year. However, at the same time, the number of fake ₹500 notes in India jumped by 31%, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s ( RBI) latest annual report.

The number of fake ₹500 notes in India increased by 31% in the last one year
The number of fake notes in detected in circulation over the last three yearsBI India

Out of the total fake currency notes detected in the system, 3.9% were detected by the apex bank while the other 96.1% were caught by other banks — this include private players, public sector entities and cooperatives.
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While other denominations have been seeing a drop in the number of fake notes circulated, the figures released by the RBI do not include the counterfeit notes seized by the police and other law enforcement agencies.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau ( NCRB), fake currency totalling 287,404 notes worth ₹25.3 crore was seized under Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in 2019 — an increase of 11.7% over the previous year.

Last month alone, police in Kochi seized fake currency worth ₹1.8 crore and, in Assam, fake currency worth ₹26 lakh was recovered in Dibrugarh.
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The ₹500 note is the most widely circulated denomination

The ₹500 note accounts for 68.4% of the overall notes in circulation. Along with the second most widely circulated denomination, the ₹2,000 note, they corner 85.7% of the pie.

In terms of volume, the share of the ₹500 denomination increased from 25.4% last year to 31.1% at the end of March 2021 — a jump of over 5%. The only other currency note that comes close to the same heft is ₹10, which accounts for 26.2% of the circulation volume.

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