The Union Finance Ministry has given permission to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to conduct field trials of plastic (polymer-based) currency notes of Rs 10 denominations.
It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
- These notes will be first introduced in five cities (not yet declared) across the country with diverse geographical and climatic conditions.
- The Finance Ministry has asked the RBI to go ahead with the procurement of the requisite plastic substrate material and approved the printing of plastic Rs. 10 notes.
- The plastic notes are considered to be cleaner than paper (cotton substrate-based) currency notes. They will last longer (average life span of about 5 years) and are difficult to counterfeit.
Under the previous UPA Government, Parliament was told in February 2014 about a plan to print one billion plastic notes of Rs. 10 denomination for a field trial in five cities viz. Kochi, Mysuru, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar.
Note: Plastic currency notes were first adopted by Australia in 1988 and are now used in more than 20 countries. These notes are smaller and stronger than cotton-based paper notes. They also have more security features that make them harder to counterfeit.