Do Not Write Or Scribble on Currency Notes-Reserve Bank Of India

In India, currency notes printed and issued by the Reserve Bank of India/RBI on behalf of the Union Government of India have been in circulation.

The paper currency notes of Indian Rupees get soiled and mutilated because of the money circulation and handling by people in all the monetary transactions.

The people of India, including the  ‘banks’ staff’,handling the currency notes have been writing and scribbling on them, ignoring the value of money (both the face values and the cost of printing the currency notes). Normally numbers and initials are written/scribbled by the people handling cash.

Some people even write names and short messages on the face of the Indian currency notes, treating them as paper for their communications.

Due to the careless handling  the currency notes get soiled and slightly mutilated/fully torn. Because of the need for cash transactions all sorts of currency notes, fresh, new, good, soiled, stained, slightly mutilated/ mutilated and pasted along with currency notes with writings and scribbling have been in circulation.

Reserve Bank of India, referred to its ‘Clean Notes Policy’ and instructed the banks on 14th August 2013  to advise their staff members not to write/scribble on the currency notes, stressing the cost of printing/replacing the currency notes.


As a result of the above instructions of the Reserve Bank of India/RBI to the heads of the banks in India, and the subsequent passing of the message by the managements of the banks to their branches advising  their staff handling cash  not to write/scribble on the currency notes, and perhaps by further passing by of the message by the bank staff to their customers and the public tendering cash for depositing with them, a ‘rumour’ has been spread that the currency notes with writings/scribbling on them will be invalid w.e.f.1st January 2014.

Some of the shop-keepers, the staff of Electricity Board and BSNL offices etc started stopping to accept currency notes with writings/scribbling. The reasons for their action are obviously that the banks would not accept such notes from them, when they deposit cash with banks.

The Reserve Bank of India has clarified that no instructions had been issued on non-acceptance or invalidation of scribbled currency notes, and confirmed that instructions had been given by RBI to the banks/bank-staff not to write/scribble on the currency notes.

It is practically difficult to avoid writing number/ on the currency notes by the cashiers of banks in their daily receipts/payments transactions, inspite of their having note counting machines. They may be advised to use pencil (and eraser) instead of pen.

However, the RBI has sought cooperation of the public, institutions and others in keeping the notes clean by not writing/scribbling anything on them. Great Expectations of the RBI!!

It is the opinion of the public and experts that, unless and until the Reserve Bank of India announces and warns the public that the currency notes with scribblings and writings should be exchanged at/deposited into banks, within a stipulated time limit and if necessary such notes would be declared as invalid, their instructions to the bank staff not to write/scribble on the notes would result in such a situation only. 

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