Printing of ` 200 currency notes begins
India's re-monetisation exercise appears to be entering its final lap, with the central bank beginning to print bills of 200 rupees – perhaps for the first time – to help ease consumer transactions. The notes of ` 200 denomination are being printed in one of the government-owned facilities after the Reserve Bank of India placed an order a few weeks ago for the bills, as reported by ET. An email sent by ET to the RBI seeking its comments could not elicit any response until the publication of this report. "For day-to-day transaction purposes, the introduction of 200 rupee notes will add to the ease of operations," said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economist at the SBI Group. The introduction of the ` 200 currency notes predates the federal government’s decision to overnight withdraw bills of higher denomination in November as part of a broader exercise to stop counterfeiting and curbing untaxed cash in Asia’s third-biggest economy. The RBI board had earlier cleared the proposal to issue banknotes of ` 200 denomination. The government, too, had examined the introduction of the new notes that would help citizens transact easily. Before the November 8 de- monetisation, there were roughly 1,650 crore pieces of ` 500 notes in circulation, according to data from the State Bank of India research. With the removal of this series from the system, there was a large gap in the value of notes in circulation. Lower denomination notes aids the government’s efforts at realigning the currency mix in the system. "The new 200 notes will carry advanced security features. The authorities are taking extra precaution to prevent counterfeiting," said a source aware of the printing schedule.