RBI under fire for outsourcing printing of currency notes

The high-powered Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) gave this blanket directive after it came across startling fact of outsourcing of printing of currency notes by the RBI in 1997-98.

COPU while examining the functioning of the state-owned Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) was “aghast” to learn that the RBI outsourced the printing of notes to three countries in 1997-98, panel chief V Kishore Chandra Deo said in the Committee’s Sixth report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
COPU was informed that 2,000 million pieces of 100 rupee denomination and 1,600 million pieces of 500 rupee denomination of notes were outsourced for printing at US-based American Banknote Company, UK-based Thomas De La Rue and Germany-based Giesecke and Devrient Consortium amounting to a sum of Rs 1 lakh crore.

On further inquiry, the panel learnt that such outsourcing of the printing of notes was not done either before or after 1996.

COPU noted with concern that during printing of currency notes worth Rs 1 lakh crore in three different countries “there was always a grave risk of unauthorised printing of excess currency notes, which would have been unaccounted money.
“The very thought of India’s currency being printed in three different countries is alarming to say the least. During that particular fateful period our entire economic sovereignty was at stake,” the report noted.
DH News Service

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