When Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes were banned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, rumours had it that the government started printing the new Rs 2,000 notes a few months ago. Several media reports also stated that printing of the new notes began in August or September.
"The printing, according to officials, began in August-September and nearly 480 million notes of Rs 2,000 denomination and an equal number of Rs 500 denomination were printed," the Economic Times reported.
A few netizens later raised their concerns and questioned recently-appointed Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel's signature on the highest-denomination currency notes "printed months ago."
Patel was appointed as the 24th RBI governor on July 19, and took over the position from Raghuram Rajan on September 6. It means that Patel's signature would not be valid on any notes printed in August.
From what we understand, the "printing of currencies began 6 months ago" rumour was cooked up by a few netizens, who misunderstood the reports on the government's plan to introduce the Rs 2,000 notes a few months ago.
It has to be noted that printing of a currency goes through several procedures, including designing it to getting the paper ready. Though the authorities might have started the initial stages of printing by the end of August as reported by the ET, the actual printing is understood to have started only after Patel took charge of the office.
Meanwhile, a RBI official told the Hindu that they could not introduce any special security measures on the currencies as the decision was taken on a sudden notice.
"Since the decision to introduce the new notes was taken only six months ago, there was no time to alter the security features. Only the design has been changed, but the security features remain the same as the old notes," said the official.
Check out some social media responses here:
govt is claiming that it is prepared for last six months and very secret then how 2000 rupee notes got the sign of new rbi governor.
2000 Rs notes i recieved today hs sign of Urjit Patel as Governor and the notes have been in print for 6 months? Was his appointment fixed
The @UrjitPatelRBI just assumed office as governor months ago but how was it possible for him to sign the Rs 2000/- notes six months ago?how
If 2000 rs currency notes were printing since 10 months then how urjit patel's sign possible on currency notes?