RTI reveals millions of ghost notes are reaching RBI vaults
An application was filed with the Reserve Bank of India under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the total count of notes printed in the Indian mints and those received by the RBI. The RBI forwarded the application to different presses for the total number of notes printed by them.
The replies to the application show that millions of ghost notes, which have never been printed by the Indian presses, have made it to the central bank’s vault. The replies also show that maximum number of such ghost note belong to the denominations of 500 and 1000. For example, since 2000, when the new design of the Rs. 1000 note was introduced, the two authorized Indian presses viz. Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited, Bangalore, and Currency Note Press, Nashik, have printed a total of 4,452.3 million of 1000 rupee notes. However, the RBI records show that it has received 4,462 million of 100 rupee notes. This implies that the central bank has received 9.7 million ghost notes i.e. an excess of Rs. 970 crore.
Though the RBI claimed that the mismatch is because not all the printed notes are sent to the RBI every year, the applicant contended that it might be against RBI’s own rules which say that mints cannot keep the stock. Further, it cannot be explained as to how RBI can have more notes than those ever printed even if all the years are taken into account.