14 August 2015 09:49:22 IST

New ₹1 notes may take a little while to hit streets

Hitch at RBI delays release

Your wait for the new ₹1 notes may just get a little longer because of distribution delays by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

It’s nearly a month since the newly printed currency reached the Reserve Bank regional offices from Government currency printing presses, but the apex bank has not initiated its distribution to local currency chests so far.

For instance, boxes containing about one lakh ₹1 notes each were received by each of the RBI regional offices in the second week of last month. According to reliable sources, these notes are now stacked in all the regional offices till further instructions from the central office due to some issues in the accounting methods.

As these notes have been reintroduced after two decades by the Ministry of Finance which prints the ₹1 notes (all other currency notes are printed by the RBI), the accounting system being followed by the central bank does not have a provision to include them, it has been learnt.

Software issue

The RBI uses a special software called Integrated Computerised Currency Operations & Management System (ICCOMS), but it has no provision for ₹1 notes.

When contacted on the delay, RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala said: “We have now received the complete consignment and will be issuing these notes shortly.” Meanwhile, currency brokers are already willing to offer a premium of ₹1,500 for a bundle of 100 notes of ₹1. “Many people have been asking us for notes and are ready to pay a premium for them as they want to keep it as a collector’s item. There is going to be demand for them at least for some more days,” says Pasha, a currency broker here.

Interestingly, the circulation of these notes may hardly solve the paucity of change for the common man. The government had announced earlier that 15 crore ₹1 notes will be printed every year at a cost or ₹1.14 a note.

“Banks have a tendency to demand higher denomination notes from currency chests for easy handling and security purposes. There could be some reluctance to take huge quantities of ₹1 notes,” said a senior official of Andhra Bank.

So, it remains to be seen whether ₹1 will circulate well in the money exchange or will simply remain a collector’s piece.