New one-rupee notes were issued on March 6, 2015 at Nathdwara Temple (Rajasthan) by the then privileged Union Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi having his signature printed on these notes re-issued after being discontinued two decades back because of low-life, high printing-cost and popular coins in same denomination. Even notes of Rs 2 and 5 were also discontinued later for the same reason. But only one-rupee notes (and not of Rs 2 and 5) evidently because of bureaucratic craze of getting their signature printed on notes. It is significant that only one-rupee notes carry signature of a Secretary to Government of India, while notes of other denominations carry signature of Governor of Reserve Bank of India, this being the reason that our bureaucrats never moved files for re-issue of notes of Rs 2 and 5. File-noting received under RTI response that RBI opposed re-issue of one-rupee notes.
Surprisingly a fresh lot of one-rupee notes was again issued bearing signature of the then Union Finance Secretary Shaktikanta Das on March 30, 2017 just one day prior to his retirement after getting special extension of three months beyond December 31, 2016. But surprisingly only a handful people might have known about re-issue of one-rupee notes that too without having a look on these what to talk about getting these. It is even more disgusting that Rajiv Mehrishi distributed these notes to his known ones as souvenir by individually signing these contrary to RBI advisory for not writing on notes. Since packs of hundred of one-rupee notes are available to members of public only on heavy premium ranging from 500 to 1500, central government and RBI should stop further print of one-rupee notes, and rather should take action against those responsible for initiating file for re-issue of one-rupee notes. Existing stock of one-rupee notes can be sold as official souvenir packed in attractive plastic-packing at heavy official premium.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)