Last Updated: February 21, 2023, 17:42 IST
The guidelines presented by RBI do not limit people from using any of the two spellings in their cheques.
When it comes to the banks, it is mentioned in its master circular that the word lakh should be used to represent the number 1,00,000 in English.
You must have drawn several cheques at the bank and even issued some. One common confusion that several people have while filling out a cheque is how to denote Rs 1,00,000 in words. While many choose to write it in a general way as lakh, several others choose to write it as lac. This gives rise to the question of whether the amount should be labelled as lakh or lac.
The cheque has two spaces to enter the amount. One asks for the numeric version to be filled and the other asks a person to fill in the amount in words. This is where the confusion of using lakhs and lacs arises.
The guidelines presented by RBI do not limit people from using any of the two spellings in their cheques while filling in the amount. But when it comes to the banks, it is mentioned in its master circular that the word lakh should be used to represent the number 1,00,000 in English. This means that in terms of official banking language, lakh is the right word to be used. The RBI’s website and all cheques issued by banks use the word lakh and not lac to represent any amount equal to or more than Rs 1,00,000.
People can use both words to represent the amount but when it comes to official English usage, lakh is the right word to be used. The dictionary suggests that lac is defined as “a resinous substance secreted as a protective covering by the lac insect, used to make varnish, shellac, sealing wax, dyes, etc.” and lakh is defined as “a hundred thousand.” However, people have made it a common practice to denote amounts equal to or greater than Rs 1,00,000 with lac in the colloquial language.
To summarize, if you are a common man going to the bank to deposit a cheque, you may enter the amount and label it as both lakh or lac. But if you are a bank official issuing a cheque on behalf of your bank, you must use the word lakh and not lac.
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