It refers to Central government stopping minting of coins because of alleged poor demand and storage-problem, meaning thereby not utilising heavy expenses done on running mints. Undoubtedly supply position of coins now-a-days is satisfactory. But total stopping of coin-minting may again result in shortage of coins causing black-marketing of coin-bags at heavy premiums ranging from 15-20 per cent.
Instead of stopping coin-minting, steps should be taken to ensure availability of coin-bags of various denominations in all bank-branches (private or public-sector) including in small bank-branches so that shopkeepers may not have excuse to force unwanted items like candies and chocolates in name of non-availability of coins. Shopkeepers have made a practice to force such unwanted items as replacement of coins for minting extra profit on these items.
At the same time to always ensure adequate coin-supply in future, there should be just two denominations of coins. Coins of only rupees 1 and 5 should be minted abolishing minting in denominations of Rs 2 and Rs 10. Rs 10 coins are still not popular though having been in circulation for last so many years. Moreover fake coins in Rs 10 denominations are minted because of high profitability due to high face-value. Artificial data of popularity of Rs 2 coins is because of their coin-bags being forced by banks in usual absence of bags of Rs 1 coins. Shopkeepers do not return Rs 1 coin because of poor availability. Consumers will be happier with Rs 1 coins because of their being light in weight and flexibility in use.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)