Millennium Post

Use Indian paper & ink for currency: PM to RBI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the Reserve Bank to use Indian paper and ink to print currency notes and set a target date for achieving the objective as part of the ‘Make In India’ campaign.

“Today we are celebrating 80 years of RBI. Can we not fix a date...that on any specific date, whatever currency is being printed, paper will be Indian and ink will also be Indian,” he said at the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Reserve Bank.

It is ironic that the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi, who fought for swadeshi, appears on currency printed on imported paper, Modi said. ‘Make In India’, the Prime Minister said, “should start from here. I believe we can do this”. Later, RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra said work on a factory manufacturing currency paper was in advanced stages and the country would soon have notes printed on Indian paper.

“The factory construction is in advance stages and we are confident that in the next few months, RBI will start producing bank notes,” Mundra said. India imports the paper and ink, and then prints the notes at dedicated facilities. According to experts, use of indigenous paper and currency would also help in curbing counterfeiting of the notes. According to the information provided by RBI, India prints 2,000 crore currency notes every year and 40 per cent of the cost goes towards import of paper and ink. It mainly imports paper from countries like Germany, Japan and the UK.

Moreover, Prime Minister Modi urged the Reserve Bank of India to take the lead in encouraging financial institutions to set concrete targets for financial inclusion over the next 20 years that would help transform quality of life of the poor.

“I come as a representative of the poor, underprivileged, marginalized and tribals; I am one among them; I seek on their behalf and trust you will not disappoint me,” the Prime Minister said while speaking at the RBI Conference on Financial Inclusion that marked completion of 80 years of the Reserve Bank of India. He also urged the RBI to set goals on intermediate targets such as: 2019 -- when the country will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi; 2022 -- 75 years of independence; 2025 -- 90 years of RBI, and 2035 -- 100 years of RBI.

“These are four important dates...we can create a road map for financial inclusion,” he said, adding that the financial inclusion should not remain a government programme but should become “an article of faith”. Expressing concern of farmers’ suicides and the plight of the poor people in the country, Modi asked the bankers to be considerate in providing financial assistance to poor. Farmers’ plight should, he added, shake up the conscience of the banking sector.

“Our farmers commit suicide. The pain of this should not only be restricted to newspapers and TV screens. When farmer dies, does it shake the heart of banking sector? Because of taking loan from money lender, he has to face death,” Modi said. The Prime Minister also called upon the bankers to extend credit to resource-rich eastern states.

FM Jaitley lauds Reserve Bank for its ‘professionalism’

Lauding the efforts of the Reserve Bank in improving macro-economic conditions in last eight decades, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the central bank’s professionalism has served the country well.

“Starting from 1935 till today, a large part of the country’s sovereign functions rests on shoulders of the RBI. From management of the country’s monetary policy, inflation, rates... (to) banking sector regulator, manager of public debt.... “These are among the functions which RBI has undertaken in this 80-year-long journey and performed them in a commendable manner,” he said. Jaitley congratulated RBI Governor Rahguram Rajan, his team and past governors for the contribution they made in making the country’s economy resilient.
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