Banks and the general public are finding it tough to use ₹10 coins for retail transactions, as these are not being accepted by many as legal tender. As a consequence, currency chests and coin depots of banks are now ‘overflowing’ with these coins.
“Strangely, the rumour that ₹10 coins are fake gained strong popularity and they are not being accepted by general and business customers at our counters,” a senior executive with a major public sector bank told BusinessLine.
“We did take the matter to the notice of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), but the situation remains the same,” he added.
Enquiries with a few other banks also confirmed the non-acceptance of ₹10 coins. The problem is more acute in southern States, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, semi-urban and rural Tamil Nadu, and parts of Karnataka.
Attempts made by this writer to transact in ₹10 coins at a few petrol pumps and retail business establishments here failed. “Nobody takes these coins these days,” said the cashier at a petrol pump here.
According to RBI data, coins in circulation have been increasing. The total value of coins in circulation increased by 2.4 per cent, while the total volume of coins also increased by the same percentage in 2017-18.
Though there has been a problem of acceptance, the volume of ₹10 coins increased from 3,703 million pieces in 2016 to 5,049 million pieces in 2018. Banks are concerned over this increase. Further, the RBI had also issued a new series of ₹10 coins early this year. Aware of the problem, the RBI launched some initiatives in the recent past.
“It has come to the notice of the Reserve Bank of India that in certain places there is reluctance on the part of traders and members of the public to accept ₹10 coins due to suspicion about their genuineness,” the RBI said in a notification issued last year.
The coins are made at mints, which are under the Government of India, it said, adding that these coins have distinctive features to reflect various themes of economic, social and cultural values, and are introduced from time to time.
But it is obvious that these measures are not making any difference on the ground as the situation remains the same.