Last date for exchange of withdrawn pre-2005 currency notes extended

Banknotes of pre-2005 have less security features and no year of issue

GN Bureau | June 26, 2015


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The last date for exchanging pre-2005 banknotes of all denominations has been extended till December 31, 2015.

The Reserve Bank of India has urged the public deposit the old design notes in their bank accounts or exchange them at a bank branch convenient to them. The RBI has stated that the notes can be exchanged for their full value. It has also clarified that all such notes continue to remain legal tender. The apex bank had in December 2014 set the last date as June 30, 2015.

Explaining the rationale behind the notification, the RBI said that the banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi series have now been in circulation for a decade. A majority of the old banknotes have been withdrawn and therefore it has decided to withdraw the remaining old design notes from circulation. They also have fewer security features compared with banknotes printed after 2005, RBI said.

Not having currency notes in multiple series in circulation at the same time is a standard international practice, the RBI pointed out.

The move is also aimed at curbing black money and fake currencies. Post-2005 notes have added security features and help in curbing the menace of fake currency.

How can one distinguish the pre-2005 series banknotes?

It is easy to identify pre-2005 notes. The currency notes issued before 2005 do not have the year of printing on the reverse side. In notes issued post 2005, the year of printing is visible at the bottom on the reverse.

What are the pre-2005 series banknotes?

The RBI issued Mahatma Gandhi series (MG series) 2005 banknotes in the denomination of  Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. These notes contain some additional or new security features as compared to the 1996 MG series. All banknotes issued before the 2005 MG series are called as pre-2005 series banknotes.

Do the pre-2005 series banknotes cease to be legal tender?

The notes issued before 2005 shall continue to be legal tender. The notes are only being withdrawn from circulation and this withdrawal exercise is in conformity with the standard international practice of not having multiple series of notes in circulation at the same time.

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