In contrast to the 339.95 million excess currency notes that were stored in vaults between 1999 and 2010—more than the production of the government security printing presses—the Reserve Bank of India today faces a completely different challenge. The RBI has only received 7,260 million of the 8,810.65 million newly designed Rs 500 notes that the mints have produced.
Considering the 210 million notes produced by the Nashik mint between April 2015 and March 2016, there are 1,760.65 million Rs 500 notes that have inexplicably vanished. The astonishing Rs 88,032.5 cr value of the missing notes is staggering.
The RBI spokeswoman continues to decline requests for comment regarding the missing currency from RBI vaults.
The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (P) Limited, Bengaluru; Currency Note Press, Nashik; and Bank Note Press, Dewas; print India’s currency notes, which are then sent to the RBI vaults for distribution throughout the Indian economy.
The newly designed Rs 500 note was printed by the Currency Note Press, Nashik, in 375.450 million pieces, but the RBI only reports having received 345.000 million of the notes, which were printed between April 2015 and December 2016. This information was obtained by activist Manoranjan Roy under the Right to Information Act (RTI). The Currency Note Press, Nashik, stated in a previous RTI response that the RBI received 210.000 million pieces of Rs 500 during Raghuram Rajan’s tenure as RBI governor for the fiscal year 2015–2016 (April 2015–March 2016).
The newly designed Rs. 500 currency notes were delivered to the central bank, according to a report from the Currency Note Press in Nashik, but the RBI’s annual report on currency management, which is available in the public domain, makes no mention of receiving any such notes. According to additional statistics provided by the Currency Note Press, Nashik, the RBI received 1,662.000 million pieces of the newly designed Rs 500 note between 2016 and 2017.
In 2016–2017, the RBI received 5,195.65 million pieces of Rs 500 from the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (P) Limited in Bengaluru and 1,953.000 million pieces from the Bank Note Press in Dewas. However, the RBI has only received 7,260 pieces of the newly designed Rs 500 note from all three printing presses. The newly designed Rs. 500 note was printed by the three mints in a total of 8,810.65 million pieces, although the RBI only received 7,260.000 pieces.
“The apex bank is oblivious to the harm done to the Indian economy by such a significant discrepancy between the quantity of high-denomination Indian currency notes created in mints and the total received in RBI vaults. It’s no joke that 1,760,65,000,000 pieces are missing. Manoranjan Roy stated that it creates security issues regarding the stability of our Indian economy.
He has requested an investigation into the inconsistencies in the millions of high-value currency notes created at the three mints from the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate. Senior RBI officials have justified the discrepancy by pointing to the massive logistics involved in the printing and supply of currency notes. The fact that it should take so long for notes to get to the RBI vaults is surprising, though.