China printing rupees? Govt denies claims as report raises concerns

16 Août, 2018, 18:31 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Govt denies report claiming ‘Indian currency printed in China

The report quoted the president of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, Liu Guisheng as saying that his company won contracts for printing currency notes of a number of countries, including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brazil, Poland and India.

The "China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation" confirmed that money production plants across the country were running at near full capacity to meet an unusually high quota set by the government this year, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Until recently China did not print foreign currency at all, but in 2013 Beijing launched the Belt and Road Initiative, a plan that seeks to stimulate economic growth in around 60 countries from Europe, Africa and Asia through investment and infrastructure projects.

Congres leader Shashi Tharoor has expressed his concerns that the news, if true, could have national security implications.

The report in the Chinese daily claimed that despite domestic currency demand being at its lowest, China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation has been "functioning at full capacity to deliver on global contracts". So much so the Chinese currency makes a small portion of the currency notes being processed inside the state-owned currency printing company, which describes itself as the world's largest money printer. Not to mention making it easier for Pak to counterfeit.

While the government has come forward with an explanation, the Reserve Bank of India's silence on the report has raised a few eyebrows.

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The news spread quickly on social media, prompting outrage over how this could endanger national security. A Xinhua report stated that Bhuban Kadel, the executive director of the Nepalese central bank, said he was 'utterly impressed by the quality of the notes, particularly considering the cost was far lower than the bank had previously paid to another printer'. This company prints currency of several other nations which include for Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brazil and Poland. India has been opposed to China's Belt and Road initiative since its genesis. It has employed 18,000 people and runs around 10 strictly guarded facilities for the production of paper notes and coins.

"He should also answer why was there a need to go to a foreign country to get the currency printed?"

Referring to the report, Mr Chadha said that an undisclosed source was quoted as saying that some governments have asked Beijing "not to publicise the deal because they are anxious such information could compromise national security or trigger unnecessary debates at home".

Currency printing is a significant strategic move by China.

The news report claims that China sees printing foreign currencies as an opportunity to increase Beijing's "influence on the world economy and geopolitics".

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