Don't get fooled again: RBI made 14 types of Rs 10 coins

And all of them are 100 per cent valid.

 |  4-minute read |   19-01-2018
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If you search for “Rs 10 coin fake” on Google, you will come across a variety of articles from various media houses explaining the difference between the supposedly real ones and the “fake” ones being circulated in India’s cash-heavy economy. Funnily enough, after a recent RBI notification, these articles may have lost currency.

According to the January 17 RBI notification, there are, at present, 14 different designs or variants of the bulky Rs 10 coin, and all of these 14 coins are 100 per cent valid.

The RBI notification read:

The Reserve Bank of India puts into circulation coins minted by the Government of India. These coins have distinctive features. Coins in new denominations to meet transaction needs of public and coins in new designs to reflect various themes – economic, social and cultural – are introduced from time to time. As coins remain in circulation for longer periods, it is quite possible that coins of different designs and even shapes are circulating at the same time. One such change is introduction of 'Rupee symbol' in coins in July 2011. An instance of this is the Rs 10 coins with rupee symbol and the same denomination coin without rupee symbol. Both of them are legal tender and equally good for transactions, though they may look a little different.

It has been reported that some less-informed or uninformed persons who suspect the genuineness of such coins are creating doubts in the minds of ordinary people including traders, shop-keepers, etc, impeding the circulation of these coins in certain pockets of the country causing avoidable confusion.

The Reserve Bank has advised members of the public not to give credence to such ill-informed notions and ignore them and continue to accept these coins as legal tender in all their transactions without any hesitation.

10_011918064635.jpgPhoto: DailyO

RBI clarified in its statement that the reason different Rs 10 coins have distinctive features is to reflect various economic, social and cultural themes. But will this RBI notification make the public trust the coins themselves? In the age of fake news catalysed by social media and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, despite a credible source, there remains a lot of ambiguity in terms of factual accuracy.

A Hindu Business Line report from December 29, 2017 stated that despite repeated reassurances, the public simply refuse to accept Rs 10 coins; fearing it to be fake.

The report said that despite the Rs 10 coin being legal tender, “there seems to be all-round resistance to acceptance of the coin, particularly in this industrial hub”. This fear was fuelled further by banks' reluctance to accept them as deposits, at least in large numbers.

"There is pressure from the banking regulator, asking us to ensure that there is adequate flow of coins in circulation; while we are prepared to offload the Rs 10 coin, the customer prefers to take the note instead. Their reluctance is adding pressure to the chest. We are, therefore, constrained to accept only a certain number of coins each day and this number has piled up over time," a banker told Business Line, adding "this issue has been on for almost two years now".

Perhaps, now that the central bank has assured citizens that the tenders are indeed authentic, people will finally stop disregarding something that is written in our law, even if they have been doing so unknowingly.

While section 6 the Coinage Act, 2011 states that “coins issued under the authority of section 4 shall be a legal tender in payment or on account, in case of (a) a coin of any denomination not lower than one rupee, for any sum not exceeding one thousand rupees; (b) a half-rupee coin, for any sum not exceeding ten rupees; (c) any other coin, for any sum not exceeding one rupee: Provided that the coin has not been defaced and has not lost weight so as to be less than such weight as may be prescribed in its case,” there is no law that expressly penalises one for not accepting a certain kind of legal tender in lieu of another.

The RBI, according to a 2016 Hindustan Times report, claimed that those refusing to accept Rs 10 coins could face legal action. Sadly, the report does not elaborate on what penalty such a refusal would amount to.

It is a good time to recall an incident from 2016, when the district magistrate of Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh said that anybody refusing to accept the currency could be charged with sedition. "The Rs 10 coin is a national currency and no one has the right to refuse it as the government of India promises to pay the value of the currency to the bearer. According to RBI rules, those who refuse to accept the Indian currency can be liable for action under section 124A (sedition) of IPC. And we will strictly enforce it," DM Masoom Ali Sarwar was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Sedition or not, it is high time the RBI made the consequences of refusing legal tender clear to the ordinary citizens. 

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