New Delhi: The Congress party alleged on Tuesday that two different kinds of high-denomination currency notes, printed after demonetisation in November, were in circulation and this “jeopardizes the credibility of India’s currency."
The party disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha over the issue.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, at a press conference on Tuesday, alleged that the Rs500 and Rs2,000 notes varied in terms of size, design, markers and features even as he maintained that the notes the party sampled were genuine ones.
Same-denomination currency notes in different sizes have “huge global ramifications," Sibal said. “Indian citizens will be confused about the authenticity of the currency," he added, demanding a clarification on the issue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier in the day, the Congress, along with the Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal (United)’s Sharad Yadav, disrupted Rajya Sabha proceedings over the issue. Finance minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of raising “frivolous" issues.
“Bank notes in each denomination have a distinct dimension. The size of the new design Rs500 bank note is 66mm x 150mm and the size of new design Rs2,000 bank note is 66mm x 166mm," minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
An email sent to the Reserve Bank of India did not elicit any response. Bankers spoken to by Mint said they had not received any complaints pertaining to the size and colour shades of the currency notes.
“It is quite possible that it could be a problem in the printing process. But such a defect is not new to new notes; in the past there have been some cases where some notes were found to be different from the set even though the security of these notes were not compromised," said a senior banker with a state-owned bank on condition of anonymity.
On the varying shades of currency notes, bankers said it could be a case of the colour fading because of water being spilt on them or being rubbed against wet clothes.
The government also said that new currency notes, like the old ones, could also lose colour because of the type of dye that is used.
Alekh Angre in Mumbai contributed to this story.