The Reserve Bank of India said it is working on launching plastic currency and will soon start a pilot project.
"Counterfeiting of plastic notes is very difficult. So we are planning to launch some plastic money on pilot basis in 4-5 centers like Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneshwar. We are working on it," RBI Deputy Governor H.R. Khan told reporters here.
Under the pilot project, notes of Rs. 10 denomination would be distributed through the central bank's five regional offices.
The proposed shift to plastic currency notes, instead of the normal paper notes, is primarily aimed at checking the counterfeiting as also the high cost associated with printing of paper currency, as they need early replacement due to soiling and mutilation. These notes would have an average life span of 5 years compared to one year for the currency notes, and also these notes are cleaner than paper notes and it would be difficult to counterfeit the currency.
Besides studying the potential cost savings through plastic notes, the pilot project will also look into the environmental impact of the proposed plastic notes.
Polymer notes were first introduced in Australia to safeguard against counterfeiting of currency. Besides Australia, other countries that have introduced plastic notes include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Bermuda, Brunei and Vietnam.