It costs the government nearly one rupee to print a currency note of Rs 10 denomination. And, Rs 1.79 to make a Rs 100 currency note.

This information was given by the Reserve Bank of India to Delhi-based RTI activist Subhash Agrawal.

The RBI has given the cost of printing different denominations from Rs 5 to Rs 1,000. Interestingly, printing a Rs 50 note seems a shade costlier than a Rs 100 note.

In response to the RTI query on the average life of currency notes, the RBI said, “No study has been done so far in this regard. However, conventional wisdom indicates that smaller denomination notes have a lower average life than banknotes of higher denomination (100, 500, 1,000).”

To another query, the RBI said that the size of the currency note had not changed since 1967.

The central bank also said that to enhance the life of the banknotes and reduce the cost of production and disposal, especially of smaller denomination notes, the bank was conducting trials on plastic and polymer-based notes.

The RBI said that field trials with about 1 billion pieces of such plastic/polymer based notes were being conducted at five places — Mysore, Kochi, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar — chosen for their varied geographical location and climatic conditions.

The decision to introduce these notes would depend on the outcome of the field trials, the RBI said.

(This article was published on July 20, 2012)
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