An RTI response reveals different public sector undertakings selling currency notes to the government at different prices
Hard cash is not free. In fact, the Rs 10 note costs between 70 paise and Rs 1.12 to print.
An RTI response on the printing cost of currency notes has revealed that different public sector undertakings have different printing-cost and sale-price (to the government) for currency notes. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) owned Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) sells the notes of Rs 10 and Rs 20 at a cost of 70 paise and 95 paise to the authorities, while the units of central government owned Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) sells these notes at a much higher price at Rs 1.22 and Rs 1.216.
The application was filed
by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal. The RTI also sought information regarding the steps taken to reduce the cost of printing of notes. The SPMCIL said that its corporate office doesn’t have the information and directed the query to Currency Note Press (CNP), Nashik and the Bank Note Press (BNP), Dewas to reply to the petitioner. The BRBNMPL, on the hand, denied information stating “the cost of printing bank notes cannot be provided since it is considered as exempted information that falls under the ambit of section 8(1)(a) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.”
|Denomination in Rs
Interestingly, a 2015 report by the Institute for Business in the Global Context, revealed that RBI and commercial banks annually spend Rs 21,000 crore ($3.5 billion) to print and circulate currency notes and coins, and to keep them safe. This builds a strong case for the use of digital currency.