Parliament on Thursday permitted the government to mint coins of Rs 1,000 denomination even as nostalgia over withdrawal of 25 paise coins (chawani) was witnessed among Rajya Sabha members. The Coinage Bill, 2009 passed by the Upper House, limits payment by an individual through coins up to Rs 1,000, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, replying to a debate on it.
The Lok Sabha had passed the bill without discussion in March.

Mukherjee said the payment and receipt by way of coins was being limited to Rs 1,000 by an individual, as suggested by the Reserve Bank, for sake of convenience.

Replying to concerns of counterfeit notes, the Minister agreed there was a serious threat. While it was a battle the government was to fight continuously, some countries are using it as a potential tool to destablise the Indian economy, he said.

“Some times it is used as a policy matter. I do not want to use the names of the country. Everybody is aware of…what is their objective,” he said.

Though the Finance Minister did not name any country, concerns have often been expressed over fake currency coming from Pakistan routed through Nepal.

On the Rs 1,000 coin, Mukherjee said at present it is only an enabling provision being inserted in the coinage law. He did not indicate when it could be introduced.

While the Finance Minister shared members’ nostalgia over withdrawal of 25 paise coin (chavani), he said it was part of an economic evolution. There used to be coins in the sub-unit of a paisa in the past.

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June 2021