The Indian government has empowered the National Investigation Agency (NIA), under the National Investigation Agency Act, to inquire into the fake currency racket in the country and prosecute those held responsible, according to Namo Narain Meena, the Minister of State for Finance. The announcement was made on Friday, in the Lok Sabha.
The Minister also said that multi-dimensional aspects of the fake currency racket were being addressed by several agencies, working in tandem to thwart the illegal activities. The agencies in question are:
1) Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
2) Ministry of Finance
3) Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
4) The security and intelligence agencies of the centre and various states, and
5) Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
A statement from the Ministry of Finance said the agencies' progress would be reviewed periodically, by a nodal group set up for this purpose. In addition, to fight this problem, the CBI has been declared the nodal agency to ensure co-ordination with various states and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has been nominated as the "Lead Intelligence Agency" in the matter.
Meanwhile, the government had earlier constituted a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell in 2010, under the NIA, to focus on further investigations in concerned fields.
Furthermore, the security features in high value currency notes are being constantly upgraded by the RBI, which has also strengthened mechanisms for the detection of counterfeit notes, the statement claimed, adding that a special group had been formed in the MHA to share intelligence/information amongst different security agencies to counter the circulation of fake currency notes.
According to data provided by the RBI, there are 435,607 pieces of fake currency notes between April 2010 and March 2011. The apex bank has also reported 25 complaints regarding receipt of counterfeit notes through ATMs, between Jan. 7, 2008 and Oct. 31, 2011.
Here is a table showing RBI's data on fake notes detected by banks:
|April, 2010 to March, 2011||139||126||10,962||124,219||246,049||54,112||435,607|
|April, 2011 to Sept. 2011||40||158||6156||65,782||152,930||39,216||264,282|
Source- Ministry of Finance.