Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
In his inaugural address at the `Conference on Fake Indian Currency Notes and Fake Stamp Papers' here today, Mr. Sharma said the increased circulation of fake Indian currency notes and their ever-increasing sophistication had been identified by the National Security Council as one of the major threats to the economy of the nation and, thereby, its unity and integrity. Since the criminals were receiving support from outside, he suggested that maximum help be sought from Interpol.
Any delay on the part of the law enforcement agencies in reversing the rising trend of counterfeiting and circulation of fake currency notes and fake stamp papers would loosen the threads of the country's economy, he cautioned.
Referring to the fake stamp paper scam, Mr. Sharma said new trends had shown that the circulation of fake Government stamps was on the rise with networks in many States.
In view of the inter-State ramifications of such activities, some States like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi had transferred their cases to the CBI. The agency had also initiated an inquiry against a Central Government department to look into irregularities leading to a spurt in fake Government stamps in the market, he added.
The CBI Director said some States had not yet appointed nodal officers for fake currency and stamp paper cases and this hampered coordination. "As counterfeiting affects the very root of a nation's economy and its international standing, our task cannot be limited to law enforcement...We have a larger role to play as the nation is on a march ahead with its agenda of reforms and economic progress can be seriously threatened by the wider effect of these crimes.
It is time we realise the importance of assessing the dimensions of this problem and of working together in a better coordinated manner," Mr. Sharma said and suggested that the Reserve Bank and other such agencies also be included in tackling the problem of counterfeit currency notes and stamp papers.
The Executive Director of the Reserve Bank, P.K. Biswas, in his presentation said 41 billion pieces of currency notes were in circulation and the printing cost of this was about Rs. 2,000 crores.
He suggested that continuous research programmes be undertaken for improving security features.
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