'No count of cash printed after demonetisation'

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HYDERABAD: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has no idea how much currency has been printed since demonetisation was announced. The RBI admitted this in reply to a query under the Right to Information Act filed by Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali.

When Galgali sought information about printing of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2,000 notes between November 9 and 19, RBI said it did not have the information. "The information sought is not available with us," RBI said in its reply. Based on this reply, former vice-chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Marri Shashidhar Reddy wrote to the Election Commission on January 7, asking it to make the RBI part with the information.

The RBI refused to provide information regarding distribution of notes by banks from November 9 to 19, 2016. It refused to give the information citing Section 8 (1) (g) of RTI Act, 2005. This section says information can be denied if the disclosure would endanger the life or safety of any person.

"It clearly shows that the RBI avoided giving the information," said Reddy. In his letter to the EC he expressed the apprehension that the ruling BJP could use the cash sent to various states to its advantage in the upcoming polls.

In reply to Galgali's query, RBI said bank notes were printed by Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Madras (BRBNMPL) in Bengaluru and Security Printing and Mining Corporation (SPMCL) in New Delhi, and the query was sent to them. "Can it be that BRBNMPL and SPMCL print currency notes on their own without the knowledge of or orders from RBI? Nothing could be more absurd than this," Reddy said.

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