as the Currency Note Press (CNP), Nashik, has started dispatching new notes of Rs 500 denomination to the Reserve Bank of India.
“The CNP has already sent the first consignment of five million pieces of the new Rs 500 note and another five million pieces are to be dispatched by Wednesday,” an official said on Saturday.
The CNP, which is one of the nine units of the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL), is also printing notes of Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 in large numbers, the official said.
The government scrapped the
Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes
with effect from Tuesday midnight and introduced new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. Although the Rs 2,000 notes have come into circulation, the new Rs 500 note is yet to be passed on.
Sources said that the RBI has already printed the Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes at its two printing units in Mysore in Karnataka and Salboni in West Bengal. The Rs 500 note is being printed at SPMCIL’s two presses in Nashik and Dewas in Madhya Pradesh.
According to sources, CNP has been given a target of 400 million pieces of the Rs 500 note by the end of the current financial year. The printing of the notes started two weeks ago.
The SPMCIL, which prints currency notes, security documents and manufactures coins, has nine units across the country, including two each in Nashik and Hyderabad and one each in Mumbai, Kolkata, Noida, Dewas and Hoshangabad.
Out of cash, even big daddy RBI disburses coins
Not just banks, even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was scrambling for cash on Saturday. The central bank’s Ahmedabad office gave out coins to people seeking to replace invalid notes. When it ran out of coins and smaller notes, officials chose to close their doors to citizens at 3.30pm. “I came to exchange invalid notes worth Rs 4,000. I got the entire sum in Rs 10 coins, in two polybags,” said a surprised Hanif Mohammad Shaikh, a tailor from Shahpur.
The RBI’s regional office set up three counters for exchange of invalid notes. By 3.30pm, its gates were closed and citizens were told to leave, leading to a heated argument with guards. “My brother came yesterday to exchange notes, but there was too much rush. I stood in line all day but the cash ran out before my turn. What are poor people like us to do,” said a daily wager, Anita Chauhan.
Many bank branches were constricted by
inadequate supply of currency notes
. A number of small banks ran out of cash and temporarily stopped exchanging notes. Some banks that TOI contacted complained of lack of fresh supply of notes, even as the queues outside grew longer. “This is because RBI disbursed only Rs 50 crore to each bank’s currency chest. This is distributed to their branches and other banks linked to the chest. This left branches with little cash to dispense,” said an official of Maha Gujarat Bank Employees Association.