The government’s currency paper printing presses have asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for compensation or reimbursement to the tune of Rs 577 crore for what they estimate was the loss and wastage they had to incur due to the November 8, 2016 announcement of demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
This adds another dimension to the demonetisation woes of the RBI which has, in its recently released annual report, admitted to lower profits and to paying the government a reduced annual dividend on account of it. Top government officials and officials in the currency paper printing establishment told The Indian Express that the matter was under discussion and since the printing presses were captive units — they do no commercial work — the losses they incurred on account of demonetisation would surely have to be offset.
The Rs 577-crore bill is largely on account of huge consignments of imported/indigenous currency note paper used for Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations as well as consignments which had been previously ordered or were in the process of being shipped to India. Besides this, the printing presses are understood to have added cost of wasted ink and other materials used specifically for these denominations as well as the wasted cost of printing the sizeable stocks of currency notes lying in their establishments or being packed and transported — all being described as “work in progress” at the time of the dramatic announcement of demonetisation.
There are four currency printing presses and the calculation sent to the RBI is the tally of losses and wastage incurred collectively by them. There are two currency presses of the Public Sector Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) which operates printing presses in Nashik and Dewas and two of the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL) which is a RBI subsidiary and operates printing presses at Mysore and Salboni, West Bengal.