Putting to rest the debate on printing of one rupee notes, the Law Ministry has opined that the Government of India has all the powers to print currency notes of this denomination.
While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has the authority to issue bank notes of denominational values of Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs.100, Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000, Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000, the one rupee note was printed and issued by the central government.
The Government of India also has the sole right to mint coins of all denominations.
However, since the RBI was of the view that with the repeal of Section 2 of the Currency Ordinance, the Government of India is not empowered to issue note of denominational value of one rupee, the law ministry opinion was taken.
The Law Ministry in its opinion stated that the Coinage Act of 2011, which consolidates the laws relating to coinage and the mints, does not bar the Government of India from printing one rupee notes.
Section 4 of the Act provides that the central government may authorise minting of coin of denomination not higher than Rs. 1,000, it said, adding that the definition of coin in the Act makes it clear that Government of India one rupee note is included in the definition of coin.
The Act defines a coin as “made of any metal or any other material stamped by the Government or any other authority empowered by the Government in this behalf and which is a legal tender including commemorative coin and Government of India one rupee note,” the ministry said in its opinion.
“Further, apart from the metal, the coin may be made of any other material,” it said.