Printing Press Running 24X7 To Offset Cash Crunch: Official

Cash crunch: The last time currency notes were printed round-the-clock was just after demonetisation in November 2016, when the presses worked to churn out the new Rs 2,000

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Printing Press Running 24X7 To Offset Cash Crunch: Official

Cash crunch: The government's four note-printing presses are running round-the-clock


New Delhi:  The government has speeded up currency note printing and is running all its four presses round-the-clock, an officer said today amid ATMs running dry in many parts of the country. This week, the note printing presses have been minting out Rs 500 and Rs 200 notes without a break to meet an estimated Rs 70,000 crore of currency shortfall, he said.

The four presses of the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited or SPMCIL have been running for 18-19 hours daily, with a three-four hour break, on normal operation days. 

But since the time ATMs ran dry due to "unusual spurt in demand" for cash, the presses have been operating non-stop, the officer told news agency Press Trust of India.

A currency printing cycle involves 15 days. The increased number of currencies being printed beginning this week would be available only toward the end of this month.

The last time currency notes were printed round-the-clock was just after demonetisation in November 2016, when the presses worked to churn out the new Rs 2,000 notes in order to meet liquidity shortage in the market, said the officer who asked not to be named.
 
rupee notes

The government suspects that Rs 2,000 notes are being hoarded as they are not returning into circulation fast enough

The Reserve Bank of India or RBI on Tuesday said there was sufficient cash in its vaults and currency chests. "Nevertheless, printing of the notes has been ramped up in all the four note presses."

Cash crunch may be felt in some areas largely due to logistical issues of replenishing ATMs frequently. ATMs are also being recalibration to dispense smaller sized Rs 200 notes, the RBI has said.

There has been unusual spurt in currency note demand in some states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the finance ministry has said. In the first 13 days of April, currency demand went up by Rs 45,000 crore.

Economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government suspects that Rs 2,000 notes are being hoarded as they are not returning into circulation fast enough. To deal with currency shortage, printing of Rs 500 notes have been increased fivefold.
 
rs 200 note

ATMs are also being recalibration to dispense smaller sized Rs 200 notes, the RBI has said.

"The currency printing (will increase) from Rs 500 crore to Rs 2,500 crore per day of Rs 500 notes... So in a month, we will be printing about Rs 70,000-Rs 75,000 crore. This should give you assurance that we are geared up to meet the rising demand," he had said.

The Rs 2,000 rupee notes account for 35 per cent of the Rs 18.43 trillion currency in circulation in the country. The printing of this high-denomination note has stopped as it had reached its threshold of Rs 6.70 trillion in the system.

The Rs 18.43 trillion currency notes in circulation compares to nearly Rs 17.97 trillion currency in circulation before demonetisation of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016.

With inputs from PTI


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