Sunday, July 18, 2010

New currency symbol for rupee shows rising status for India

When India announced that it will implement a unique symbol for the Indian Rupee in world financial markets Thursday, the arcane subject of currency symbols became a hot topic. Before the new currency symbol for the rupee was announced, the abbreviations Rs, Re, or INR represented it within the marketplace. India’s Union Cabinet is expected to finalize the new currency symbol, a cross between the Roman letter R and its Hindi equivalent with a double slash, on June 24. Implementing the new rupee symbol, depending on recent history with the new Euro symbol, may take a few years and cost billions of dollars.

New currency symbol marks the rise of the Rupee

The currency of India, the world’s second largest democracy, had no consistent means of identification in world financial markets. As reported within the Deccan Chronicle, the new rupee symbol was selected as the winner of a design competition to create a mark that reflected the historic culture of India. Indian official said the use of abbreviated Rs as currency symbols by neighbors such as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan cause confusion in world financial markets and the new rupee symbol will end that confusion. As India angles to become a financial superpower, a distinct identity for the rupee also makes the currency more tradeable within the west.

Will elite club of currencies welcome the rupee?

Until now unique currency symbols existing only for the U.S. dollar, European Euro, British Pound, and Japanese Yen. The BBC reports that India has declared itself one of the elite world economies with its new rupee symbol. A panel of artists, officials and bankers picked the new rupee symbol design from up to 36,000 entries in the contest. The winner was submitted by design teacher at the Indian Institute of Technology. The contest awarded him Rs 2.5 lakh in winnings, or about $ 5,350.

Euro symbol introduction cost billions

Experts say implementing a new currency symbol is an costly process. Testing the new symbol, Suite 101 reports, is difficult due to rigorous testing across a broad range of applications, from sites to mobile phones. In addition, the government has to design and print new money and existing computer keyboards become obsolete. The BBC article pointed out that to update computer systems to deal with the new euro symbol cost them upwards of $ 50 billion.

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