RBI refutes reports of ban on accepting scribbled banknotes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has sought to allay fears among the general public on holding or accepting currency notes with any scribbling on them, amidst rumours circulating that banks would not accept such currency notes from 1 January 2014.

RBI has urged members of the public not to fall prey to such rumours and to use their banknotes without any fear.

The central bank, however, clarified that it had, on 14 August 2013, issued instructions to banks advising them to instruct their staff not to scribble or write on the body of the banknotes since it was observed that the bank officials themselves were in the habit of writing on banknotes which went against the RBI's clean note policy.

Local media recently reported rumours that the RBI has directed banks to stop accepting notes that were scribbled upon.

RBI has clarified that it has issued no such direction and that banks will honour all currency notes, even those with scribbles on them.

Scribbling on the top of the note is a widespread practice especially among bankers and shopkeepers to keep a count of the number of notes in a stack.

Some media reports also advised the public to exchange such scribbled bank notes with their bank branches before 31 December 2013 against fresh notes.

Reiterating that writing or scribbling on banknotes works against its clean note policy, RBI also sought co-operation from the general public, institutions and others in keeping banknotes clean by not writing / scribbling anything on them.