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India to issue polymer notes


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NEW DELHI: It’s time for real plastic money to gain currency in India. The government and Reserve Bank of India plan to start a pilot project to print currency notes made of polymers instead of paper.


As a starting point, senior officials said, RBI is planning to experiment with a million such notes of Rs 10 each based on plastic bank note technology that is being used in over 20 countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Romania, with variants in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Mexico, Singapore and Sri Lanka.


The new currency is expected to come into circulation shortly. It will be tested in open market conditions, a finance ministry official said.


But why plastic notes? For one, they are supposed to be more durable, being made of non-porous polymer with a special protective coating that prevents absorption of moisture.


Second, the new notes being tested are said to be more counterfeit-proof. Countries like Mexico that have used polymer technology have clear stamp-sized plastic windows which are said to be difficult to forge. Once their life is over, the notes can be recycled and used as plastic products.



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