Skip to main content

RBI in spot? Allegations fly high, it tied up with "blacklisted" British co to supply note printing equipment

A screenshot from De La Rue website
By Our Representative
In the wake of the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, a portal run by well-known human rights activist Teesta Setalvad has wondered as to why Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave away contract  supply machinery for printing notes to a British company, which it alleges was “black-listed”previously.
The portal, www.sabrangindia.in, quotes the official site of the RBI Note Mudran (P) Ltd, which says, “The machinery at Mysore Site has been supplied by M/s. De La Rue Giori, now KBA Giori, Switzerland and that of Salboni by M/s. Komori Corporation, Japan. Both the presses are equipped with sophisticated Security Surveillance Systems.”
Claiming that the RBI has given contract to print notes to De La Rue “without any official announcement being made”, the portal says, “Until April 2016, at least, De La Rue continued to supply paper for this printing, and was re-issued tenders by the Modi government for this highly sensitive activity despite being banned for national security reasons in 2010-2011.”
Terming this “mysterious”, the portal says, the portal quotes an RBI circular, which makes “a vague reference to only presses with sophisticated equipment supplied by De La Rue (now renamed KBA Giori)”, adding, “The company’s own website clearly announces interest and role in printing of the currency.”
It also quotes what is calls “unconfirmed sources from the RBI” to say that, after the De La Rue's alleged involvement in the Panama papers scam in April 2016, this company had been again black-listed from supply of paper”.
It adds, “There is no official explanation why a foreign company, black-listed on national security concerns (2011), was allowed to supply paper again by the Modi government, without any public announcement between 2014 and 2016. There is also no announcement of this reported recent black-listing on any official government, or the RBI website.”
Lately, reports the portal, a Right to Information (RTI) query has been filed to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) demanding to know whether the paper supplied for the printing of the new notes after demonetization is paper supplied by De La Rue(UK) and Louisenthal (Germany).
The portal also quotes an investment journal to point out that the company banned for national security reasons, De La Rue could be a major player in prime minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India schemes. 
Pointing towards why it wants to be in business with India, the De La Rue site says, "Cash is the most socially inclusive payment method. It has a key role to play in the evolving payments ecosystem with India and as a result, will be around for many years to come", adding, "Non-cash transactions today account for only 22% of all consumer payments."
It continues, "Currency in circulation accounts for 18% of India's gross domestic product (GDP). During 2015 cash usage accounted for 78% of all transactions. Cash is the preferred mode of payment for 78% of merchants."
The portal says, seizures of counterfeit currencies made by the enforcement agencies had revealed that the quality of notes were identical to the legal currency notes, noting, “It was difficult for even the banks to identify the differences.” It adds, “Intelligence reports suggest counterfeit currency notes are printed in a high-security press in Pakistan and smuggled into India and distributed to destabilize the Indian economy.”
The portal further raises alarm that another company, Italy-based Fabriano Securities, which was “also allegedly named in the Panama offshore companies scam has been the supplier for the security thread for the new currency notes after de-monetization.”
The portal says, what also is being “ignored” is is that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of the United Kingdom (UK), in 2010, found serious security breaches in De La Rue. In their inquiry, the SFO had uncovered that a number of De la Rue employees had deliberately falsified certain paperspecification test certificates for some of its 150 clients.
It adds, there is also the revelation that De la Rue paid out a 15% commission to a New Delhi businessmen to secure contracts from Reserve Bank of India, and that De la Rue paid £40m in settlement to the RBI for issues in production of paper notes.

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.

Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.