New Delhi: All efforts by the government to acquire a control on the increasing counterfeit currency menace in the country seem to fall flat on the reality scale. Lack of better techniques, backing from neighbouring countries and the lackadaisical approach of the intelligence agencies in preventing the circulation of fake currency has not only compounded to the miseries of Indian economy but also emerged as a threat to reckon with.

The governmental records prove that not only the fake currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 are posing a threat to the economy but even Rs 20 note is being circulated in Indian markets on a large scale.

Observing the exigencies of the situation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has advised the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make its policy to control fake currency more rigid. In a recently held meeting with the Finance Ministry, the data presented by the RBI of the fake currency denomination recovered in commercial banks of the country has pointed to the severe danger looming large on the Indian economy.

According to the records, fake notes worth Rs 12.25 crore have been recovered in first six months of current fiscal while notes worth Rs 19.01 crore were detected in note banking system last year. Mentioning the number of notes, while 4.35 lakh fake notes were detected last year, about 2.64 lakh fake currency was recovered by June this year.

Officials of the Finance Ministry admit that no concrete success has been achieved in gaining a control on the circulation of fake notes. The situation seem to have turned for worse as the fake currency mafia following a well-made strategy have started introducing small currency notes against the prevailing trend of only higher currency notes. Since there is a shortage of smaller currency in the market, circulation of fake notes becomes an easy task for the mafia.

Last year, 126 fake currency notes were recovered by the banks, whereas 158 similar notes were already caught by the banks in first six months this year.

However, the big currency denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 are causing more harm to the economy. According to the latest records given by the RBI to the Finance Ministry, 39,205 fake 1000 rupees notes and 65,782 fake notes of 500 rupees have been recovered by now this year.

However, the experts are of the view that the real data is much more than the information provided by the RBI. Since the RBI had levied a new rule last year under which an action will be taken against the bank officials where fake notes are recovered, the bank officials did not report minor incidents of tracing a few fake notes.

Fake currency notes recovered last year
Year                 notes recovered               worth crores
2008-09                 3,98,111                               15.57
2009-10                 4,01,476                               15.51
2010-11                   4,35,607                               19.01

2010-12                   2,64,282                                12.25

(* April- September, 2011)