Will address issue of severe paucity of coins in the market
While the US Treasury Department has broken new ground by announcing that an eminent woman will grace the face of the new $10 bill (her identity will be revealed later this year and the note will be released in 2020), the Indian Finance Ministry has gone back to an old faithful, much loved by the common man. Yes, the ₹1 currency note is making a comeback after two decades.
The new avatar unveiled by the government in March is made of cotton rag with 110 micron thickness. It has the watermark of Ashoka’s Lion with ‘Satyameva Jayate’ inscribed and carries the signature of the present Secretary, Ministry of Finance, and is dated 2015. Banks have also started distributing these notes in select locations.
In December 2014, the government had announced that ₹1 notes will be issued and will be brought back in circulation. The government prints the ₹1 currency, while the Reserve Bank of India prints all other currency notes, according to the RBI Act.
The re-launch of ₹1 notes, has also brought old notes to life. Some old notes in use now incidentally bear the signature of Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister during 2004-14) in his capacity as Secretary, Ministry of Finance, with the year 1978 under the representation of the ₹1 coin on the printed currency. Whether old or new, the banknotes are legal tenders and people can use them freely.
Irrespective of these specifics, the common man is happy. “It is very heartening to see the note staging a come back bringing back past memories,’’ says Ismail, who runs a paan shop near the RBI regional office here.
The new currency is also expected to address the severe paucity of coins in the market. In some cities including Hyderabad, people have been using their own private currency and adopting other modes of barter to tide over the shortage of coins. Now with the availability of ₹1 and ₹2 notes, this problem is expected to be eased, feel petty businessmen.
There is a rich history behind the ₹1 note. A silver rupee was first introduced by Sher Shah who ruled Delhi between 1540 AD and 1545 AD. Afterwards, it was continued by the Mughals, the British and also by the government of independenct India. In 1994, the government stopped printing ₹1 notes.