In its continued spell of changes in the economy, the RBI announced that it would soon issue newer versions of Rs 20 and Rs 50 notes. The saving feature, however, is that the old ones will still be valid. The newer Rs 50 notes would now not have inset letters in the number panels. The Rs 20 notes would have the inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels.

The signature of the RBI Governor Urijit Patel would be present on both the new notes. Also, the year of printing – 2016 – would be mentioned on the reverse of the notes.

The decision follows the 8 November demonetisation of high-value currency that has caused a major cash crunch, with the supply of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes released proving insufficient for meeting the current needs. The design and security features of these banknotes will be similar to the banknotes of Rs 50 denomination with the ascending font of numerals in both the number panels and without intaglio print issued earlier in Mahatma Gandhi Series- 2005 through Press Release No. 2016-2017/751. All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 50 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.

These changes have reportedly been brought about by the Modi government to streamline the Indian economy. It was a well-known fact that the incidence of fake Indian currency notes in higher denomination had increased in the economy. For ordinary persons, the fake notes look similar to genuine notes, even though no security feature has been copied. The fake notes have been used over the years for anti-national and illegal activities. It was also suspected and observed that the high denomination notes were being misused by terrorists. They were also being used for hoarding black money. Since India is the cash based economy, hence the circulation of fake currency notes is a menace.

The schemes to withdraw some denominations and being about changes in others were introduced to contain the rising incidence of fake notes and black money.