This is a post that has been curated from the internet. The authenticity of the incidents, facts, figures rest with the publisher mentioned at the end of the 3-post series.
As per a recent report by Economic Times,
[The notes] were largely printed at Mysuru under utmost secrecy while the paper note on which the printing was done came from Italy, Germany and London.
The printing, according to officials, began in August-September and nearly 480 million notes of Rs 2,000 denomination and an equal number of Rs 500 denomination were printed. The printing facility at Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Ltd. (BRBNMPL) in Mysuru under Reserve Bank of India was set up with the De La Rue Giori, now KBA Giori, Switzerland.
The Hindu reported,
India imports bank note papers from European companies like Louisenthal in Germany, De la Rue in United Kingdom, Crane in Sweden and Arjo Wiggins in France and Netherlands.
India had blacklisted two European firms in 2014 amid reports by security agencies that the security features, which come embossed on bank note paper, were compromised and given away to Pakistan.
There are even plans to circulate plastic or semi-plastic Rs 10 notes in place of the paper ones:
The secretive Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudra Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the RBI, that prints notes has selected four entities – UK-based De La Rue, Australia’s Innovia, Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient and Swiss company Landquart – to supply three kinds of plastic notes.
De La Rue already supplies paper notes to India but has been rattled by the controversy over the recent Panama leaks. It has recently been contracted to supply polymer note making technology to China and plans to make pure polymer notes for India too.
But the ban was lifted and the companies were removed from the blacklist. Why? Here is the reason given for the lifting of the ban.
“These companies are in the business for 150 years; they will not hamper their trade by passing on information of one country to another. Some of these firms even print currency notes for smaller countries. After the investigations, it was found that the two firms had not compromised the security features and the ban was lifted,” said the official.
However the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of UK itself in their inquiry had uncovered that a number of De la Rue employees had deliberately falsified certain paper specification test certificates for some of its 150 clients. Recently it was also revealed in the Panama Papers that De la Rue paid out a 15% commission to a New Delhi businessmen to secure contracts from Reserve Bank of India. There are also reports that De la Rue paid £40m in settlement to the RBI for issues in production of paper notes.
Even so after all this it has been given clearance and there are even plans in discussion with De la Rue for setting up of a security paper mill and a research and development centre of identity software in Madhya Pradesh. Martin Sutherland the new CEO of De la Rue in an interview titled Giving Make in India the Currency to Succeed with India Investment Journal said that under the UK-India Defence & International Security Partnership Agreement which was signed in November 2015, De La Rue is committed to supporting both governments on the subject of counterfeiting under this agreement.
However there has been no official announcement made regarding the lifting of the ban on De la Rue and its removal from the blacklist apart from the news report. De la Rue that almost went bankrupt after losing RBI contracts reported a whopping 33.33% rise in its shares in the last six months.
The question that still need to be answered is; are the new Indian currency notes printed with the involvement of blacklisted Crown Agent companies who supplied and were the source of fake notes for Pakistan at the expense of India’s National Security?