RBI Annual Report 2012-13. Introduction of Plastic Currency of Rs100 crores

Mysore is two times this year. The first time it was lucky, when it was chosen for by Bharat Mahila Bank (BMB) Board, for one of its Pilot Branches.

Next time, it was the turn of RBI to include Mysore in the Pilot cities, for introduction of Rs10 plastic notes.

Under Currency Management section of RBIs’ Annual Report for 2012-13, RBI has mentioned that it considered various options in consultation with the Government before deciding to introduce one billion Rs 10 banknotes on plastic substrate for field trials.

The five chosen cities are Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kochi, Shimla and Mysore.

These cities have been identified because of their geographic and climatic diversity, the report said. One of the main advantages of plastic money is that the soilage is less in plastic as compared to paper. At the same time plastic is also cost-effective. It is estimated that Polymer banknotes are four times more durable than paper notes.

The report further said the RBI engaged The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to conduct a study on the carbon footprint of cotton-based banknote paper substrate vis-à-vis plastic-based substrate to estimate the overall environmental and life cycle assessment impact.

The result indicated that the polymer/plastic note (and the waste from production) could be granulated and recycled into plastic products such as compost bins, plumbing fittings and the like.

Australia holds the credit for introduction of polymer notes, 25 years back (1988).

Since then, over 30 countries have introduced them. Canada is the latest entrant.

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