The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is gearing up for the trial of plastic currency notes printed in Australia. Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 15 May 2014 announced that plastic currency notes will be launched in 2015 after field trials.
Earlier in February 2013, Union Government had informed Parliament that it will introduce one billion plastic currency notes in five cities in later half of 2014 on a pilot basis. The five selected cities for pilot testing are Shimla, Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, and Bhubaneswar.
Why Plastic Currency?
A proposed introduction of plastic or polymer currency notes, depending on the success of a trial pilot project, is expected to tackle this problem to a large extent because of a much longer shelf-life of the plastic bills. Plastic currency notes with an average life span of about five years are cleaner than paper notes.
Also, the introduction of Plastic currency notes would help stop counterfeiting of Indian rupees as they are difficult to imitate.
About Plastic Currency Notes
Pioneered by Australia, the plastic currency notes are already in use across a number of other countries, including Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Fiji, Brunei, Papua New Guinea and Romania, while the UK is also said to be toying with the idea. Issued as currency in Australia in 1988 for the very first time, Australia switched to plastic currency notes completely in 1996.
According to Gerry Wilson of Australia-based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the polymer notes have longer life time and can be produced at a faster rate than paper currency. Wilson is Theme Leader (Flexible Electronics), Materials Science and Engineering, at CSIRO, which worked closely with the Reserve Bank of Australia in developing polymer notes. Australia was the first country to shift to these currencies.
Courtesy: Business Standard