Demonetization And The Fake Currency Panorama
Its’ November 8, 2016 and PM Narendra Modi has announced that henceforth Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes would not be no longer the legal tender of India and also that the currency, which will remain in circulation after a finite period of time will be considered nothing more than the paper it’s printed on. Fast forward to 2017 and effects of demonetization are easily visible in various aspects of life concerning the economic structure of India.
Take the case of Kaliachak in West Bengal, which is in the Malda district and considered as the capital of the fake currency notes smuggled through the India Bangladesh border. Technically called Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), the figure seized by the Indian security agencies has come down drastically post demonetization. Further, the notes seized are of poor quality, although some of the security features have been copied and the majority of such features remain a puzzle for the counterfeit note manufacturers. So much so that many persons employed in this field in Kaliachak are, in fact, migrating to other districts in search of other jobs.
If we talk about the seizure of fake currency notes, then it is worth mentioning that in 2016 and 2015, 51.3 crores and 44.2 crores counterfeit notes were seized respectively. After demonetization, this figure has come down drastically compared to the levels of both the previous years. Moreover, the notes recovered have mostly been of very poor quality, including the photocopies of the original notes; however, of late the quality of these counterfeit notes has started to improve as reflected in the seizures by the security agencies. In fact the enemy of the Indian State, including the terror support organizations & the Pakistan-based ISI have still not able to copy all the security features of the new currency notes introduced by the Reserve Bank of India post demonetization. As per media reports, “the face value of recoveries between November 2016 and November 6, 2017 has been down to just Rs 2.1 crore as compared with Rs 36.15 crore in 2016 and Rs 28.72 crore in 2015. However, the face value of FICN seizures by law enforcement agencies was only slightly lower at Rs 13.92 crore between November 2016 and now, as against Rs 15.15 crore in 2016 and Rs 15.48 crore in 2015.”
Consider this, as per a news report on November 8, 2017, only one case has been reported of fake currency (in Hyderabad) printed in Pakistan and routed through Bangladesh to the country. Although the country has suffered the pangs of the demonetization in terms of the weak GDP and other economic indicators (which have in fact, now started to recover gradually), the overall result of the exercise, meant to choke the availability of funds to terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir and hit Nasals in the states of Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand amongst other factors, yet remain to be fully grasped by the experts let alone the common masses. The questions are being asked whether the whole exercise of demonetization was worth the efforts? Well! The jury is still out and the full results are yet to pour in. Only time will tell…