Friday, December 26, 2014

After 20 years, Rs.1 paper notes to make a comeback

New Delhi, December 25: One rupee may not buy you much today, yet the Government is keen to start printing ₹1 notes after a gap of almost two decades.

The Government has notified ‘Printing of One Rupee Currency Notes Rules, 2015’, which will come into effect from January 1, 2015. Due to higher cost and for freeing capacity to print higher denomination notes, printing ₹1 note was discontinued in November 1994, followed by ₹2 in February 1995, and ₹5 in November 1995. Since then, only coins have been issued for these denominations. However, old notes are still in circulation and remain legal tender.

As before, the new one rupee note will have the signature of the Finance Secretary. Apart from the one rupee note, all other paper currency (₹2, ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹500 and ₹1,000) have the signature of the RBI Governor, as these are issued by the Reserve Bank of India, whereas ₹1 is issued by the Government of India.

The new ₹1 note will be different in terms of colour, too. It will be predominantly pink and green. Earlier, the ₹1 currency note had a predominantly indigo colour. Also, the new note will have ‘Bharat Sarkar’ on its masthead, with ‘Government of India’ printed below that. All other currencies have ‘Bhartiya Reserve Bank’ and ‘Reserve Bank of India’ printed on them. While the notification does not give any reason for resuming the printing of ₹1 notes, it is believed that reports of coin shortage and the rising incidence of melting coins might have prompted the move. The notification does not mention how many notes will be printed and issued.

In the last year of its printing, 44 million pieces of ₹1 notes were issued. Despite the RBI’s appeal to change these notes for coins, these are still in circulation. However, there is no current estimate of such notes in circulation.

According to the last official number in RBI’s Annual Report for the year ended June 2002, a total of 3,076 million pieces of ₹1 notes (value ₹308 crore) were in circulation at the end of March 2002.

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