April 8, 2014 – India’s Ministry of Finance is considering a proposal to substitute metal coins with coins made of plastic. Ravindra A. Palwankar, an IT engineer with Air India, has exposed this idea to the Reserve Bank of India in May 2013 which has been forwarded to the Ministry of Finance in the meantime as Indian media report.
Mr Palwankar expects to save up to 2 billion Rupees (about 24 million euros or 33 million US dollars) every year. Instead of mining expensive metals for coin production the engineer suggests to use industrial grade plastic as it is employed in frying pan handles or knobs.
As for preventing counterfeiting Mr Palwankar proposes to provide the new coins with fluorescent holographic images. Furthermore, in an interview with The Sunday Guardian, he suggests to employ more different forms of coins like triangles or multi-angled coins in order to make it more easily to distinguish them. In addition Mr Palwankar recommends to spread messages by coins dedicating every single face value to a certain topic: AIDS, Save the Earth, population control and so on. Mr Palwankar states that he has already applied to the Indian Patent Authority for a patent of these plastic coins. If the government decided to really introduce them, he is ready to cede the patent for the benefit of the people.
You can read an article on the subject in The Times of India.
And the interview is available on the Sunday Guardian website.