In a written reply, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said printing of bank notes of particular denomination is decided by the government in consultation with the RBI to maintain desired denomination mix for facilitating transactional demand of public.
During the year 2019-20 and 2020-21, no indent was placed with the presses for printing of Rs 2,000 denomination notes.
“However, there is no decision to discontinue the printing of Rs 2,000 denomination bank notes by the government,” the minister said.
Thakur also informed that as on March 31, 2020, there were 27,398 lakh pieces of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation compared to 32,910 lakh pieces on March 31, 2019.
He further said the RBI has informed that in view of nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, printing of notes stopped temporarily.
However, the note printing presses resumed production in a phased manner, as per the guidelines issued by Central/State Government, he added.
The production activities at Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) presses were suspended from March 23, 2020, to May 3, 2020. Printing of bank notes at BRBNMPL presses resumed with effect May 4, 2020.
Thakur further said Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) has informed that printing of bank notes at their presses was also affected due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Both, Bank Note Presses of SPMCIL — Currency Note Press, Nashik and Bank Note Press, Dewas were closed down from March 23, 2020 due to lockdown.
Currency Note Press, Nashik and Bank Note Press, Dewas resumed full-fledged production activities from June 8, 2020 and June 1, 2020, respectively.
During the period of lockdown, note printing presses have uninterruptedly supplied notes to RBI offices/currency chests from stock of notes available with them through Indian Railway Treasury Wagons, Thakur added.
To another question, the minister said revision of family pension is one of the demands made by bank employee unions/associations during the course of their discussions with the Indian Banks Association (IBA), negotiating on behalf of its participating member banks, for the 11th bipartite wage settlement.
“IBA, has informed that during the discussions with representative employee unions/associations consensus was arrived at on recommending revision of family pension,” Singh said.
To a question, he said strengthening of monitoring of the banking mechanism is reflected in steep reduction in the occurrence of frauds in public sector banks, with the amount involved in frauds declining from the peak of 0.96 per cent of bank loans in the fiscal 2013-14 to 0.15 per cent in 2019-20.