Shopkeepers and public transport in the city remain are, declining to accept Rs.10 coin as legal tender.
Bangalore, February 01, 2018: Flipping through the notes in his hand, Srinivasan R, a conductor in a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus, moves down the aisle giving tickets but refrains from collecting Rs.10 coins as he still thinks it is not legal tender.
“As conductors, we prefer taking change and coins from people as they are very handy but every coin has different designs. How do we know it is original? To avoid confusion I don’t even bother taking it anymore.”
Earlier on January 17 in a press release the Reserve Bank of India reiterated that Rs.10 coins issued in 14 different designs are legal and valid tenders of transactions. The statement provided by the Central Bank said, “It has come to the notice of the Reserve Bank that in certain places there is reluctance on part of traders and members of the public to accept Rs.10 coins due to suspicion about their genuineness”.
The press release by the RBI stated, “As coins have a longer life, coins of different designs and shapes circulate in the market at the same time. So far the Reserve Bank has issued Rs.10 coins in 14 designs. The public has been informed of their distinctive features through Press Releases. All these coins are legal tender and can be accepted for transactions.”
RBI has announced all the changes in the design of Rs.10 coin on its website from time to time
The coins have various themes designed for social, economic and cultural events.
Even after the declaration by the RBI, the public transports and retailers in the city remain reluctant to accept that all 14 designs of Rs10 coins are valid and doubt its authenticity.
Sami Pasha, shop owner, Fashion Point, “Customers don’t carry coins anymore so the point of accepting coins is secondary. If my customers get coins I do not accept cause the coin sometimes has a corn shape, sometimes does not even have a rupee symbol. We cannot figure out the difference and we do not have much time to look at each coin and examine.”
He added, “After demonetisation, the notes itself look so colourful and fake, it took us time to figure out what is original or not. Now there are 14 designs of the coins. So to avoid all that kind of risk I just take notes, happily. “
On the morning of February 1, people across the country received a message from the RBI which read, “Rs.10 coin has been issued both with rupee symbol and without it. Both are valid. Accept them without fear.”
After this message was circulated, retailers across the city still feel reluctant about the Rs.10 coins.
On the other hand, RBI and other banks like Kotak Mahindra take a strong stance abiding by the rule of RBI.
“In the first place, why is there even a doubt about a notification by the RBI itself, there are no two sides to this. Retailers must and should accept the coins irrespective of the rupee symbol on the coin or even 14 different designs,” said an RBI official.
He added, “If Rs.10 coins were to be illegal, we would have demonetized them just like the Rs.1000 or the Rs.500 notes. Thus it has to be accepted in return for deposits even in banks.”
On adding to how can retailers receive notification or updates regarding changes in currency, he added, “RBI is very transparent when it comes to releasing any notification, retailers should often check Issuer of Currency on the official RBI website.
Kotak Mahindra Bank, Manager, said, “The notification of Rs.10 did not make any difference to us because we have been accepting them or any other currency which is acceptable by the RBI and Rs.10 coins have always been legal tenders. Rs.10 is definitely a legal tender as abiding by RBI rules.”
A few consumers have been collecting the coins over time, Anusua Dutta, PR, JWT, said, “I have a collection of Rs.10 coins which I want to finally get rid off because since September people have stopped accepting it. Even if you give shopkeepers Rs.10 coins they directly say this doesn’t work anymore, give us notes or leave the product.”
The RBI clarified those who refuse to accept the Indian currency can be subjected under section 124 A of Indian Penal code. According to which, “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.”
Gautam Dev, software engineer, “After the RBI’s notification released on criminalising the people who do not accept the coins; they still throw their weight around. They say they are not aware and ask to get proof. Now that this is unlawful the RBI should take a step to notify these vendors and retailers separately.”
“The NICE Road toll gates have been provided with a set of coins by the bank that bears 14 different designs that have been issued so far as to make us aware of the current designs. We are now less confused. We accept coins as tenders from commuters,” said a NICE road toll collector, at Kengeri junction,.