Five cities across the country with diverse geographical and climatic conditions will be the first to start using plastic bank notes of ₹10 denomination, with the Centre approving a field trial. The notes are considered to be cleaner than paper currency, will last longer and are difficult to counterfeit.
The Finance Ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India to go ahead with the procurement of the requisite plastic substrate material and approved the printing of ₹10 notes, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal told Parliament on Friday.
“Plastic bank notes are expected to last longer than cotton substrate-based ones,” Mr. Meghwal said.
“Over the years, central banks across the world have been exploring different solutions for extending the life cycle of bank notes. These include introduction of plastic ones and other developments in substrates for enhancing durability including use of natural fibre blends and varnish,” he pointed out.
The RBI has been planning the introduction of plastic notes for a while.
Under the previous UPA government, Parliament was told in February 2014 about a plan to print one billion plastic notes of ₹10 denomination for a field trial. The cities selected at the time were Kochi, Mysuru, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar, but it’s not clear if the same cities will be considered for the upcoming field trials as the junior Finance Minister was silent on the locations.
“It has been decided to conduct a field trial with plastic bank notes at five locations of the country. Approval for procurement of plastic substrate and printing of bank notes of ₹10 denomination on plastic substrates has been conveyed to RBI,” Mr. Meghwal said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.