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RBI to issue new Rs 20, Rs 50 banknotes, old currency will remain valid

The Reserve Bank of India announced on Sunday it will issue new sets of Rs 50 and Rs 20 notes that have carry the year of printing, 2016, on the reverse side of the currency. All older notes will continue to be legal tender.

Documents posted on the central bank’s website said the RBI will shortly issue Rs 50 banknotes without an inset letter in both the number panels and will carry the signature of governor Urjit Patel.

The Rs 20 banknote will have the inset letter ‘L’ in both number panels and carry Patel’s signature.

The security features of both banknotes will continue to be similar to the currency in circulation at present.

The inset letter is considered an additional security feature for a banknote that is said to indicate the press at which the currency denomination has been printed.

The Mahatma Gandhi series of notes are called so because they prominently display Gandhi’s portrait on the obverse side.

The issuance of new notes comes at a time the country is grappling with a cash crunch following the shock recall of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes three weeks back in a bid to drain illegal cash from the economy.

Millions of people have lined up outside banks and ATMs but have often gone back dissatisfied because authorities have little cash to disburse as 86% of the currency in circulation has been taken off the market.