Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

India denies China printing currency claim amid social media row

India denies China printing currency claim amid social media row

"Indian currency notes are being and will be printed only in Indian Government and RBI currency presses", Subash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"The reports about any Chinese currency-printing corporation getting any orders for printing Indian currency notes are totally baseless.

Earlier, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had raised concerns about the claims in the report and asked Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and Arun Jaitley to clear the air. He added that the move could also make it easier for Pakistan to produce counterfeit currency.

A Chinese company claims to have won contracts for currency production in countries that include India, according to Chinese media reports.

The report by the South China Morning Post claimed a Chinese company had been contracted to print worldwide currencies, including the Indian rupee.

"He should also answer why was there a need to go to a foreign country to get the currency printed?" It has employed 18,000 people and runs around 10 strictly guarded facilities for the production of paper notes and coins. During the fall of the Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi seven years ago, the British government seized $US1.5 billion worth of Libyan dinars originally produced for the dictator by the British currency printer De La Rue, which sparked shortages in the country and put pressure on the state.

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In 2015, Chinese researchers won an worldwide innovation award for ColorDance, a new holographic feature that can significantly increase a paper currency's security at lower cost. The central bank did not, however, dismiss chances of the Chinese state-run company forging Indian currency.

In the report, the President of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, Liu Guisheng, was quoted as saying that his company has "successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland".

The printing is linked to China's Belt and Road Initiative which has seen China build infrastructure and invest in around 60 countries from Europe, Asia, and Africa.

China recently started printing foreign currency, primarily after the launch of its Belt and Road Initiative in 2013.

Apart from India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brazil and Poland are the other countries named in the report.

China is printing other countries' money as it seeks to expand its influence on the global economy. "Beijing has regarded money printing capability as being as crucial as its atomic bomb programme to its national security amid fears its enemies could use fake notes to disrupt the economy", the report says. It was this report, which prompted Congress leaders to accuse the government of compromising with the security of the nation today.

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