The then Union Minister of Finance Namo Narain Meena on March 12, 2013, (Tuesday) in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, had announced to introduce 1 billion pieces of Rs 10 polymer notes on trial basis in five select cities namely Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Shimla with varied geographical locations and climatic conditions with primary objective of increasing currency-life in addition to combat counterfeiting. But now Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced issue of new Rs 10 notes under Mahatma Gandhi (new) series which will be like new smaller-designed notes in denominations of Rs 50, 200, 500 and 2000.
Central government and RBI should make it clear how a commitment made in the Parliament can be overlooked, mentioning also cost incurred on never-issued polymer notes. With coins of Rs 10 denominations not gaining popularity despite having been issued so many years back, idea of experimenting polymer Rs 10 notes should be reconsidered. Central government and RBI should also take steps to urgently issue new smaller-designed notes in remaining denominations of Rs 20 and Rs 100 to complete series of Mahatma Gandhi (New) notes.
Central government and RBI should also immediately stop printing of Rs 1 notes re-issued after two decades on March 6, 2015 just for bureaucratic craze to issue notes under their signatures. Since these notes never came in actual circulation and are still being sold on heavy premium, existing print-stock should be sold as souvenir in attractive plastic-packs so that government rather than currency-dealers may earn heavy premium on Rs 1 notes.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)