Mumbai: Wherever one goes in India, it is the same issue – there seems to no ‘change’.
Whether in malls and petty shops, the person at the counter may have heaps of coins in the metal containers under the till, but still questions like ‘Do you have three rupees?’ are popped at the buyers.
But when the bill, say, is Rs 27.50 and if you are asked, ‘Can you give me Rs 7.50?’ it can certainly get anyone on his nerves.
What, pray, does cause this shortage? It goes without saying that most of the time it is psychological. Everyone presumes there is a scarcity and tends to hoard coins.
Of course, there is another reason. Coins in large quantities get blocked in collection boxes in prayers of worship of all religions since the amounts are counted and accounted for only periodically.
Besides, there are reports that since the intrinsic value of the metal is far higher than the face-value of the coins, the coins are diverted to shady trades like illegal firearm manufacture.
Whatever it is, there is some good news which could provide some sense of relief to the general public. The printing and circulation of new Re 1 had been stopped in November 2014 in view of forbidding cost of printing and production. Subsequently, the printing of notes in denominations of Rs 2 and Rs 5 was stopped.
Instead, more and more more coins in smaller denominations like Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 were put into circulation. But, as mentioned already, they seem to vanish soon to be melted and used for more ‘paying’ purposes.
Now, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to bring out the one-rupee notes back into circulation. The new versions will bear the signature of the Union finance secretary instead of the RBI governor.
Let’s wait with patience to see if this could bring about a real change in the situation with the arrival of small notes.
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