Indelible ink to mark fingers of those who have exchanged old notes to reduce crowds at bank


The government has decided to ask banks to use indelible ink to ensure that people do not withdraw more than the permissable limit by going to different bank branches, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Tuesday.

“It has come to the notice of the government that the same people have been coming again and again to withdraw money and this is causing long lines,” Mr. Das said during a press conference.

“We have also noticed that people are trying to convert black money by sending many people to different branches.

“To prevent such misuse, we have decided that the branches will resort to indelible ink marks for over the counter withdrawals,” he added.

Regarding the rumours of a shortage of salt and the resultant increase in price, Mr. Das said that there is no shortage and that the Cabinet Secretary is heading a group to monitor the supply and availability of essential commodities.

The government has also asked religious institutions, which receive donations in smaller denomination notes, to deposit these notes in bank accounts to increase their supply in circulation, Mr. Das added.

“There is no reason to panic,” he said. “There are enough currency notes with banks and in the system. The situation will be continuously monitored, both the supply of cash and of essential commodities.”

The government has also constituted a special taskforce to keep a watch on the infusion of fake currency in vulnerable areas, Mr. Das said, adding that a technology team has also been formed to popularise the use of e-wallets and also to ensure that ATM recalibration progresses apace.

The Economic Affairs Secretary also clarified that the phenomenon of colour running in the new Rs. 2000 notes was normal. “Even in the case of a new Rs. 100 note, if you rub with cotton, some colour will come out,” he said. “This is due to the type of ink used. If the colour does not run, then that is a sign of fake currency.”