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No plans to change Mahatma Gandhi's photograph on currency notes: govt tells Parliament

India TV Politics Desk New Delhi 02 Aug 2016, 19:03:28 PM IST
India TV Politics Desk

The Union government today informed the Parliament that it has no plans to change the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi on currency notes.

The government further informed the Rajya Sabha that the matter had already been decided at a high-level committee during the UPA rule.

Replying to a question on whether the government intends to replace or add photos of other leaders on currency notes, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said "a Committee was formed during UPA which has already decided that there is no need to change Mahatma Gandhi's photo on the currency notes."

During Question Hour, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that "the government takes a decision from time to time in consultation with the RBI" on what currency to be circulated.

"The design and security features of banknotes are decided by the government from time to time, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The decision about the circulation of banknotes in the country is taken by the RBI," he said.

Asked whether the government proposed to introduce a currency note or coin on B R Ambedkar to mark his 125th birth anniversary, Meghwal said government has already issued a non-circulation commemorative coin of Rs 125 and a circulation coin of Rs 10 denomination to mark the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, which was released by Prime Minister on December 6, 2015.

"I assure you that as per demand, we would increase the circulation of Rs 10 denomination coins bearing Ambedkar's picture. We will work towards providing more such coins," he told the members.

Jaitley, in reply to a question whether the government plans to introduce plastic currency notes, said, "RBI has decided to procure the plastic substrate through open tender process for printing of plastic banknotes for trial purpose and accordingly initiated the process of procurement. Pre-qualification bid has been floated for the purpose."