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‘Erroneous interpretation of information collected under RTI’ – RBI dismisses claims of missing notes

On June 16, media houses, published reports based on RTI reply sent to activist Manoranjan Roy suggesting the printing presses or mints issued 8,810.65 million pieces of newly designed Rs 500 notes, but RBI only received 7,260 million pieces that tune to Rs 88,032.5 crores.

On July 17, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) refuted the claims of missing banknotes based on information collected under the Right To Information Act (RTI), 2005. The RBI said the reports were based on erroneous interpretations of the information collected under the RTI Act, 2005 from the printing presses.

Furthermore, RBI added that there is a robust system in place for the reconciliation of banknotes printed at the presses and supplied to RBI that includes protocols to monitor the production, storage, and distribution of banknotes.

Full statement of RBI

The RBI said, “The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come across reports circulating in certain sections of the media alleging missing banknotes printed by banknote printing presses. The RBI emphasises that these reports are not correct.

These reports are based on erroneous interpretations of information collected under the Right to Information Act 2005 from the printing presses. It may be noted that all banknotes supplied from printing presses to RBI are properly accounted for. It is further informed that there are robust systems in place for the reconciliation of banknotes printed at the presses and supplied to RBI, which include protocols to monitor the production, storage, and distribution of banknotes.

Therefore, public members are requested to rely on the information published by RBI from time to time in such matters.”

Misleading media reports claimed Rs 500 notes worth 88 cr missing

On June 16, media houses, published reports based on RTI reply sent to activist Manoranjan Roy suggesting the printing presses or mints issued 8,810.65 million pieces of newly designed Rs 500 notes, but RBI only received 7,260 million pieces that tune to Rs 88,032.5 crores.

The reports claimed that 1,760.65 million pieces of Rs 500 notes “mysteriously” disappeared, and no one knew the whereabouts of these notes. The so-called missing notes included 210 million pieces of Rs 500 notes printed in the Nashik mint between April 2015 and March 2016.

The information was collected from three government mints: the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (P) Limited, Bengaluru, Currency Note Press, Nashik, and Bank Note Press at Dewas. These presses print the notes and send them to RBI for distribution. As per the information collected, 375.450 million pieces of newly designed Rs 500 notes were printed by Nashik Press between April 2015 and December 2016, but RBI collected 345 million pieces.

The report further claimed that RTI’s reply suggested newly designed Rs 500 notes were supplied to RBI, but its annual report does not mention receiving any such notes. The reports further claimed The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (P) Limited, Bengaluru, supplied 5,195.65 million pieces, and the Bank Note Press, Dewas, supplied 1,953.000 million pieces in 2016-17, but RBI received only 7,260 million pieces.

In a statement to the Free Press Journal, Roy said, “The apex bank is indifferent to the harm caused to the Indian economy with such a huge mismatch in high denomination Indian currency notes printed in the mints and the total received in the RBI vaults. The missing 1,760.65 million pieces are no joke. It raises security concerns about our Indian economy and its stability.” He said to have written to the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate to investigate the matter.

Quoting senior RBI officials, FPJ said they had defended the mismatch as huge logistics in the printing and supply of currency notes are involved. However, the report asserted it was “strange” that it took so long for the notes to reach the vaults.

Roy’s previous claims of mismatch

This is not the first time Manoranjan Roy has claimed a mismatch in data of printed notes and what RBI has received. Matters regarding the mismatch were reported from the UPA era. As per reports from 2018, Roy received RTI data for 2000-2011 and claimed over 23,000 crores were “missing” due to the mismatch. At that time, NDTV tried to connect the dismissal of Roy’s petition by the Bombay High Court to demonetisation. The report noted, “Within 75 days of the petition getting disposed of (August 23, 2016), Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of the ₹ 500 and ₹ 1,000 denominations, on November 8, 2016,” quoting Roy’s advocate.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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