Where the coins have gone?
People face an acute shortage of coins of smaller denominations, making even the simplest tasks of buying groceries and vegetables, Paying for bus or auto fares, or commuting a complicated transaction.
It seems that suddenly no has the coins to give but only to take. Coins of one and five rupee appear to vanish from the market. If your vegetable or grocery bill end with two or Five (say 12 or 15), the shopkeeper asks you to either give the coins, take less or more or accept cheap candies. It seems that they are helpless.
I asked my friends and overheard people discussing over the same problem.
One of the common answers I found out is that One and Five-rupee coins are now the cheapest source of raw material for manufacturers of Blade, fancy metal items and false jewelry. A metallurgist friend of me told me that each single one-rupee coin if melted could make a pack of six razor blades.
At present Re 1, copper nickel will have metal value of Rs 2.50, while Re 1 nickel coin could be worth Rs 10. Many said that Coins worth crores are locked in donation boxes of large temples.
However, I was unsatisfied and tried to get some solid clues. If metal content and donations from ever increasing religious population in
the matter then why the paper bank notes of 1,2 and five rupee are also rare? India
One of my friends told me that RBI is the main source of issue of Coins and notes of smaller amounts followed by selected bank branches and currency chests. Earlier, traders like big retailers, hoteliers and bus syndicates use to get coins directly from RBI counters. I came to know the following information.
· It is a recent policy matter of RBI to withdraw from all sorts of retail operations.
· The number of coins issued at RBI office in Kolkata has come down from 400 bags (of 2000 coins each) to around 150 bags
· In the monetary policy statement in April, RBI had said that it intended to channelize the distribution of bank notes and coins only through currency chests and bank branches.
· RBI has also stopped printing of Bank notes of denominations of Rs 1, 2, and 5.
· RBI has decided to change the raw material used for manufacturing of coins from Copper-Nickel to FSS (Ferritic Stainless Steel).
· FSS is also a coveted metal for some industries, which would like to melt it to make fancy items and earn larger profits.
Call for looking for new methods.
RBI must carry out research for minting coins or printing small value currency notes. This may be done in the following suggested ways.
· There are Few PSU Banks, who are currently authorized to distribute coins. For example in N-24 paraganas district of Kolkata only two Branches of SBI deals with distribution of coins. There should be more bank branches with automatic coin vending machines.
· Law keeping authorities can easily wipe out the illegal selling stalls of coin selling and hoarding.
· Mint plastic tokens with security marks perhaps with a small metal foil type cover
· Issue small currency notes with plastic lamination. The reason to discontinue the printing was that these notes soiled easily. Plastic lamination may minimize this problem.
· Currency notes of odd denominations like Rs 6, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19 and so forth. Suppose your shopping bill is Rs 56. You take out a Rs 50 note from your purse and for the remaining 6 Rupees you search your pocket for coins or give the shopkeeper Rs 50+ 10. You may end up with accepting 4 useless candies. The problem is often with odd figures. This may solve the problem to a large extent.