Two variants of new Rs 500 notes surface, RBI admits printing defect

New Delhi: Merely two weeks into circulation, there are complaints of different variants in the new Rs 500 currency notes.

According to Times of India, some citizens have reported and shown the different variants of these new notes.

“Two notes, totally different design. Is government giving fake currency?” tweeted a Delhi resident Abshar who goes by the handle, @Scepticindian.

“There is a more than visible shadow of Gandhi’s face, besides alignment issues with the national emblem on the note and even serial numbers.”

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday admitted that the rush to print notes in a short span of time led to a defect in the new Rs 500 notes.

β€œIt is likely that notes with printing defect has got released due to the current rush. However, people can freely accept such a note in transaction or return it to RBI,” RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala, told Economic Times.

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This could lead to confusion among desperate population who are already hard pressed for cash.

Experts says that different variants of the official currency notes play into the hands of the counterfeiters who take advantage to infuse fake notes.

“As it is people find it difficult to understand all features of an official note and fail to check for everything before they accept one. Now, if there are too many versions of the official note, slipping in another would be easier than otherwise,” a service IPS officer who has dealt with crime for many years said to ET.

In the wake of difficulties thrown up by demonetisation, government extended till December 15 the facility of using old Rs 500 notes in public utilities and included more services like mobile recharge but stopped the over-the-counter exchange of defunct currencies and use of Rs 1,000 notes.