Putting speculations to rest, an official on Friday said no new security features has been added to newly designed currency note ₹ 2000 .
“Since the decision to introduce the new notes was taken only six months ago, there was no time to alter the security features. Only the design has been changed but the security features remain the same as the old notes,” the official told The Hindu.
On November 8, PM Modi had announced that all ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes would be considered illegal currency in India, and that a new ₹2,000 note was released by the RBI on November 10.
An official added that changing the security features is a huge exercise and takes anywhere between five to six years.
The last time such an exercise was undertaken was in 2005 when currency notes of all denominations with new security features were introduced. Water marks, security threads, fibre, latent image etc. comprise security features and these require several representations, evaluations and finally a Cabinet nod.
On being asked whether the new design would minimize the chances of counterfeiting the new currency notes to be faked by Pakistan, the official said, “It is not impossible. Only the design has changed but the security features remain the same. Pakistan prints fake notes at their government press,” said the official.
India imports bank note papers from European companies like Louisenthal in Germany, De la Rue in United Kingdom, Crane in Sweden and Arjo Wiggins in France and Netherlands. Currently 70 per cent of the notes are being produced in India and in the next two years, the target is to achieve 100 per cent self-reliance, said the official .
Another official said the production of the notes in India was pushed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). “The PMO was of the opinion that all the bank notes are imported from countries, which are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). If tomorrow, there is an embargo on India then the currency manufacturing will be crippled as we rely heavily on imports. With this aim it was decided to push the production in India,” said the official.