With a view to effectively deal with increasing circulation of banknotes, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an Automated Banknote Processing Centre (ABPC) in Jaipur for receipt, storage and dispatch of currency notes. The functions of the ABPC will also include processing of banknotes received from currency chests (CCs) and bank branches, and destruction of soiled banknotes in an automated manner, said the RBI's Request for Proposal (RFP) for engagement of consultant for comprehensive consultancy services for establishment of ABPC at Jaipur.
"Cash remains an important mode of payment for most Indian citizens, notwithstanding the growth in digital payments. In fact, the banknotes in circulation have been concurrently growing with the rise in digital payments. The global trend of increasing volume of banknotes in circulation has been witnessed in India as well," the document said. The volume of banknotes in circulation has increased three-fold from March 2001 to March 2019, and is expected to rise further in the years to come.
Besides, supply of banknotes by the presses has increased about four times from March 2001 to March 2019 and is expected to increase manifolds. "This has necessitated a relook at the present system of cash management and a need is felt to automate the handling of banknotes for receipt, storage, retrieval, processing and destruction, in line with the global changes, adopting modern technology," the document said.
One of the desired activities at the proposed ABPC would be automated receipt and storage of fresh banknotes received from the printing presses, automated retrieval and dispatch of fresh banknotes to the identified issue offices (IOs)/CCs. "The proposed ABPC is expected to provide for storage and dispatch of fresh banknotes and storage and processing of soiled banknotes to/from the identified CCs/bank branches covering the jurisdiction of the states being catered," the document said.
It has also projected storage capacity requirements for the ABPC in Jaipur — fresh note stock (daily average) at 1,883 million pieces during 2024-25, 2,950 million pieces during 2029-30 and 6,853 million pieces during 2039-40, and soiled notes at 7,718 million pieces during 2024-25, 11,568 million pieces during 2029-30 and 27,757 million pieces during 2039-40. "The facility may be designed to store the daily average fresh note stock requirement and hold a stock of about 15 days of soiled banknotes and provide commensurate processing and destruction capacities," it said.
RBI is the sole issuer of banknotes of the country and responsible for management of currency and all its aspects. RBI is supplied with banknotes from four printing presses and coins from four mints. The new banknotes and coins are received at 19 issue offices of the bank located across the country from where these are further distributed to about 3,300 CCs operated by scheduled banks under an agency agreement with the RBI.
The CCs act as store houses and the currency stored there is distributed to various bank branches/ATM network for distribution to the public. The unfit notes withdrawn from circulation are verified through a Currency Verification and Processing System (CVPS) and destroyed by shredding.