The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 14 May 2013 directed banks to follow the Clean Note Policy strictly and issue clean currency notes to public. RBI issued a notification that also asked the banks to do away the process of stapling the currency notes and to secure the note packets with paper bands.
In its notification to the banks, the RBI also directed to sort notes into re-issuable and non-issuable notes and to withdraw soiled notes from circulation in the market. Banks have also been asked to stop writing of any kind on watermark window of bank notes as it disfigures the watermark impression and recognition becomes difficult
As per RBI, on an average 20 percent of notes is disposed off after getting soiled every year and in the fiscal year 2012-13 that ended on 31 March 2013 the number of such soiled currency bills stood at over 13 billion units.
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