The Reserve Bank of India seized the opportunity of a rumour to urge people to keep currency notes clean and free of scribbling.

In the past couple of days, there were rumours in the local media that the RBI has directed banks to stop accepting notes that were scribbled upon. The RBI has clarified that it has issued no such direction.

The central bank has said that banks will honour all currency notes, scribbled and un-scribbled.

Scribbling on the top of the note is a widespread practice especially among bankers and shopkeepers to keep a count of the number of notes in a stack.

Some reports in the local media advised customers to exchange such scribbled bank notes with their bank branches before December 31, 2013 and get fresh notes issued instead.

“In the wake of rumours circulating in the market that from January 1, 2014, banks will not accept banknotes with anything written on them, the Reserve Bank has urged members of public not to fall prey to such rumours and to use their banknotes without any fear. The Reserve Bank of India has clarified it has NOT issued any such instructions,” the RBI said in a notification.

Generally, when the RBI wants to make any policy change that affects customers it advertises widely in English language as well as local media.

“Reiterating that writing or scribbling on banknotes works against its clean note policy, the RBI seeks co-operation from all members of public, institutions and others in keeping the banknotes clean by not writing/scribbling anything on them,” the RBI appealed in its statement.

satyanarayan.iyer@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 31, 2013)
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