With no guidelines from either banks or police on how to deal with counterfeits, businessmen are forced to bear the losses themselves

HYDERABAD: A few years ago, finding a Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) in the cash collected from clients and other business transactions was a rarity for security gadget seller Srikanth.

Of late, the frequency has gone up alarmingly, but the Secunderabad-based businessman has no clue on what is to be done about it . He is scared of going to the police as some traders cautioned him that cases would be registered against persons possessing FICNs irrespective of their connection with their circulation.

“I decided to bear the losses silently by tearing the fake notes cropping up in the collections having no clue on how to proceed in this matter,” he says. Srikanth is not alone in facing such a dicey situation.

With rising instances of FICNs surfacing at many places, many are bearing the loss themselves with neither the police nor the bankers announcing any standard operative procedures to help them. Recently, the FICN menace hit the consumers of Cell One subscribers, who went to pay their bills at its customer service centre on SP Road in Secunderabad. The centre staff refused to accept currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denomination unless the customers agreed to fill in a form giving their details and the numbers of the notes.

Reason: In one of the payments received from the customers, a note of Rs. 1,000 denomination turned out to be counterfeit.

“My office asked me to pay the amount from my pocket. Why should I suffer the loss unless the office gives me a fake note detecting machine, so I insisted on filling the form,” a woman employee said. In addition to filling the form, the notes were also manually examined by employees. The customer, seeking anonymity, was surprised when Accounts Officer Yadagiri declined to accept one of the two Rs. 500 notes as “it did not have RBI letters” on it. He refused to accept the note even after the customer showed him a slip of having taken out the currency notes from an ATM centre adjacent to Cell One centre.

“How can the BSNL staff refuse a currency note withdrawn from an ATM centre of a bank. Such indifferent attitude is adding to the woes of the people who obtain the FICNs by chance. The government should come out with concrete guidelines on this issue,” says businessman Srikanth.

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